Dravid to mentor team for India's tour to England
New Delhi: Former captain Rahul Dravid will have a few sessions with the Indian batsmen ahead of their first Test against England starting at Nottingham on July 9, although he has not been appointed in any capacity, BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said on Sunday.
It has been learnt that skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and coach Duncan Fletcher had approached the BCCI to have Dravid for a few interactive sessions with the young batsmen and the batting legend readily agreed to it.
"Let me clarify at the outset that Rahul Dravid has not been appointed batting consultant or in any other capacity. Since he is a legend and has enjoyed stupendous success in England, the team management wanted the boys to interact with him before the first Test," Patel told PTI today.
"Subsequently MS and Duncan requested me to find out whether Rahul could spare some time with the boys ahead of 1st Test at Nottingham. I spoke to Rahul and he was gracious enough to agree. We want him to share his vast experience. He has had so much success in England that no one can tell the current lot better about technique and temperament than Rahul," Patel added.
Dravid has achieved huge success in England during his playing days. Six of his 36 Test hundreds came in England, where he made 1376 runs in 13 Tests at an average of 68.80. He was India`s best batsman in their last tour of England in 2011, his three centuries the only bright spot in a 0-4 rout.
Asked if there could be any contractual obligations, Patel said, "Absolutely not. It`s an interaction arranged on request of team management. There is no one Test or two Test thing. Rahul will be in England at that time. Also being a mentor at Rajasthan Royals, he has had a positive influence on youngsters. We hope for the same as India embark on a tough series".
If Gautam Gambhir is not picked in the playing XI, then India will be going into the first Test with a top six that has never played Test cricket in England. For Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Chetshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, this will be their maiden five-day challenge against `Red Dukes` during English summer when Jimmy Anderson is expected to make the ball talk.
The 41-year-old Dravid stood tall amid ruins during India`s disastrous last tour of England in 2011. In India`s 0-4 `whitewash` during the last series, Dravid`s batting was the only saving grace as he scored three Test centuries including a coveted one at Lord`s.
BCCI issued a release later in the day, saying that Dravid will be with the Indian team in its preparatory stages of the tour of England.
"Rahul Dravid, former India captain, has accepted a request from the Indian team management, to support and advise the team in its preparatory stages of the tour of England, given his vast experience and knowledge of the game," BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel said in the release.
"He will be with the team till the beginning of the first Test."