Opportunity for me to learn and improve: India’s coach Rahul Dravid on Lanka tour

Mumbai: India’s head coach for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka, Rahul Dravid, on Sunday said he will try to use this opportunity to learn and improve further.

Dravid, who is presently the head of the National Cricket Academy, was appointed as India’s head coach for the Lankan tour as Ravi Shastri and his coaching staff are in the UK for the Test series against England.

“It’s a great blend of experienced players and fresh players. As a coach, it’s quite an exciting situation because you know if you create a good environment, everyone will learn a lot,” Dravid said.

“We have to be together as a large group, there are opportunities to learn and grow. It’s a good chance for me as well, as a coach you’re always learning from every experience. You learn about yourself and about cricket. It’s another opportunity for me to learn and improve. I’m quite excited.”

Dravid opined that not only Prithvi Shaw but many young players are looking to mark their name to India’s squad for T20 World Cup from this tour.

“It’s crucial for a lot more people other than just Prithvi. Obviously, it is a crucial tour… (for someone like) Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, or a lot of the younger boys who have come on this trip and would be extremely keen to do well, and set a marker for the selectors. Whether they’ll get selected in the T20 World Cup or not, that’s a call that the selectors and the Indian team management will take, and you know what their plans and strategies are,” Dravid pointed.

The 48-year-old also stated that performing well against Sri Lanka will not automatically help players to get in the squad of the upcoming T20 World Cup and vice-versa.

“But certainly, good performances in tours like this against international oppositions would certainly (help) anyone – whether it’s Prithvi or so many other people. If you’re able to put a marker down or if you’re able to show that you have the ability to do it at this level against international quality opposition, that’s certainly something that selectors will take note of.

From that perspective, it’s a crucial tour for a lot of people. It’s an important tour, (but) at the end of the day… it doesn’t mean if you don’t have a good tour of Sri Lanka that you don’t make it. And it doesn’t mean that just because you do well against Sri Lanka you’ll make it automatically [in the squad].”

The Sri Lanka tour includes a 3-match ODI series and a 3-match T20I series and all matches will be played at the R Premadasa International Cricket Stadium in Colombo. The team will be led by Shikhar Dhawan with Bhuvneshwar Kumar being picked as the vice-captain.