Rahul Dravid declared here on Friday that the time had not arrived for him to seriously consider a suggestion by former India captain-turned columnist-commentator Sunil Gavaskar that he should immediately succeed Duncan Fletcher as coach of the Indian team.
Gavaskar had told a television channel: “Rahul Dravid is one man who is enormously respected and is a successful captain having won series in the West Indies and England. When he speaks, the Indian players, some of who are superstars, listen as they know how much preparation went into his game.”
Dravid was responding to a specific question at a promotional event in which Dilip Vengsarkar and Cheteshwar Pujara also took part.
“I am happy with what he (Gavaskar) thinks; that I am capable. It is nice of him. But with time constraints and the time required to do the coaching job, which is 11 months in a year, it is extremely hard to devote that kind of time.
“I just finished playing cricket. Who knows some day in the future, I may do it. Obviously I would be involved with Rajasthan Royals in a different role for two months and time permitting, India ‘A’ or India U-19, is a possibility; but not really the coaching job with the Indian team at this point in time.”
Among a few who have scored over 10,000 runs in Tests as well as ODIs, Dravid said that nationality of the coach is irrelevant. “I don’t want to go into the nationality of a coach. We live in a professional world today. If a person can provide what the team needs, it doesn’t matter where he comes from.
“We have had Indian coaches playing various roles in the past; so it’s not that we have not had Indian coaches. For a long time we had Venkatesh Prasad and Robin Singh. What I will say, though, is that in the last 10 years so many coaching programmes have been conducted at the NCA and there is a lot more professionalised coaching at the Ranji Trophy level and hence the pool of talent among Indian coaches is building all the time. But purely on a one-on-one, they should pick the best coach. If it happens to be an Indian, so be it.”
Dravid felt the BCCI was not likely to tinker with the coaching and support staff before next year's World Cup.
“You got to give the coaching and support staff four years to try and change things. With two big tours of England and Australia coming up and the World Cup after that, it is unlikely that India will change its coaching staff or any part of the leadership group. I guess they will review that after the World Cup.”