The fight for the final frontier is over for team India. South Africa has won the test series by 2-1 despite a big loss in the first test. The dream to win a test series in South Africa is still a dream. As per pundits, this was India’s biggest chance to crack the South African code. They went as the No.1 Test side in the world. Moreover, the African team had their own problems too. Perhaps, this African team was considered to be one of the weakest ever South African test teams. But, what was the reason behind India’s failure? Did we get to see anything new from the new head coach Rahul Dravid in the SAvIND test series? We dive deep into that.
Rahul Dravid came in as India’s Head coach with lots of reputation. His stint with Rajasthan Royals, U-19 and India A team had already earned him the name “Rahul Sir”. Even when Ravi Shashtri was the Head coach of the team, many wanted Dravid to be the head sir of the dressing room of Indian cricket. Was this all overhyped?
As quoted by many cricket legends, to have success with big teams like India, you have to be more of a man-manager than a coach. Even Sunil Gavaskar had said, at the international level you need less coaching skill but more of man managing skill. Now, the question is, was the coach Rahul Dravid ready to be the man manager team India team needed? The time will answer.
Always calm and calculated Rahul Dravid did manage to hide his team players from the press conference and answered all the bouncers from the media. He ducked that well. Although, he could not manage to get the result that was expected. Perhaps, a misplanned tour? Or, team management thought we can roll over this South African team by doing anything we want in the SAvIND Test series.
Question arises. Fans ask how more chances do Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara need? Perhaps, the question was how much Shreyas Iyer and Hanuma Vihari would have to wait to get a long run. The answer was, “we want to give more chances than they deserve, we are a team like that”. That was no different from what Ravi Shastri‘s management did earlier. Although, changes were expected from Rahul Dravid. Ajinkya Rahane averages 24.08 in tests since 2020. Meanwhile, Pujara averages 26.29 in his last 20 test matches.
6 batters or 7? Team India could not clear the confusion between that and the series was over meantime. The planning from the bowlers to get 10 wickets in the last inning lacked too. Although, that use to be the main force of team Virat.
KL Rahul the future captain? We knew Rahane will not be made the Vice-captain again (after he was dropped from the position) as India looks towards the future. Maybe an 84-test match old Ravichandran Ashwin might have been a better option. However, team management may not be sure enough that Ashwin would play every test in future if Ravindra Jadeja is fit. A gamble was taken with Rahul? Yes, which did not go well in the second test of the SAvIND series.
Taking everything aside is there anything to take away from Dravid’s first away test series as head coach? Perhaps, there were some. Rahul Dravid’s calm mind did not let any outside “noise” disturb the team’s environment. Other than that? It feels like we are still in the Ravi Shastri era with Rahul Dravid as pilot of the ship.