After Ashwin, another veteran cricketer defends Rahul Dravid from Ravi Shastri's criticism regarding excessive 'breaks'
After India's semi-final exit from T20 World Cup 2022, head coach Rahul Dravid has was given a break from his duties for the limited-overs tour of New Zealand. In his absence, National Cricket Academy (NCA) head VVS Laxman took over as coach for the three T20Is and three ODIs starting November 18 in Wellington. This is not the first time Laxman has taken over as interim head coach in the absence of Dravid. When the Indian side was gearing up for the rescheduled Test at Edgbaston against England earlier this year, Laxman was with Hardik Pandya-led second-string team against Ireland for the T20I series.
"I do not believe in breaks because I want to understand my team, I want to understand my players and I want to be in control of that team. These breaks... why do you need that many breaks for, to be honest? You get your 2-3 months of the IPL, that's enough for you to rest as a coach. But other times, I think a coach should be hands-on, whoever he is," Shastri said during virtual press conference.
Veteran wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik, who was part of India's squad in Australia for the World Cup, defended Dravid by sighting a sensible reason.
"As we speak, on the 30th, the team is going to Bangladesh and this New Zealand series isn't going to get over on the 30th. I don't think he can be in two places at one time. So it is very understandable," Karthik told Cricbuzz.
Earlier, veteran Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who was also part of India's squad for the T20 World Cup, came to his coach's defense after Shastri's criticism.
"I will explain why Laxman has gone there with a completely different team because even that could be interpreted differently. Rahul Dravid and his team put in extensive hard work ahead of the T20 World Cup, right from planning, since I saw this from close quarters, I'm saying this," Ashwin said on his YouTube channel.
"They had specific in-depth plans for each venue and each opposition. So they would have been under not only mental but also physical burnout and everyone needed a break. As soon as the New Zealand series ends, we have the Bangladesh tour. That's why we have a different coaching staff led by Laxman for this tour," he added.
Team India is currently involved in a three-match T20I series against New Zealand. The first game of the tour was called off without a ball being bowled on November 18 (Friday) as rain played spoilsport.