Rahul Dravid, India’s coach, has been given a break of a few days and VVS Laxman will coach the Indian team on their tour of Zimbabwe. Rahul’s support staff members Vikram Rathour, the batting coach, and Paras Mhambrey, the bowling coach, too have been rested and Laxman will have the former leg spinner Sairaj Bahutule and Hrishikesh Kanitkar as his deputies. Dravid will join the team for the Asia Cup later this month.
Barring the break during the IPL, Dravid has been on the road for nine-and-half months and five series since he took over last November.
The BCCI secretary Jay Shah confirmed the decision to The Indian Express. “VVS Laxman will be travelling with the Indian team to Zimbabwe. We have decided to give Rahul a few days’ break. As the Indian team for Asia Cup will be travelling on August 20, it would have been impossible for him to travel from Zimbabwe to Dubai. As a result Laxman will be the Indian team coach,” Shah told this newspaper.
Laxman is the chief of National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. It’s not the first time Laxman will be travelling as coach with the Indian team. He was on duty during India’s tour of Ireland followed by one T20 game against England. With the Indian team playing back to back series, the BCCI will be going ahead with this new formula of using Laxman every now and then.
The Indian team will be playing three ODIs in Harare on August 18, 20 and 22. The BCCI is sending a second string team, led by KL Rahul, who was declared fit by the Indian board medical team. BCCI secretary Shah in his statement had stated, “The BCCI Medical Team has assessed KL Rahul and cleared him to play in the upcoming three-match ODI series in Zimbabwe. The All-India Senior Selection Committee has appointed him the captain of the side and named Shikhar Dhawan as his deputy.”