Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former India batsman VVS Laxman has announced that he believes Rahul Dravid will have a major impact with the national team in helping them prepare for their five-Test series against England, which gets underway on July 9 in Nottingham.
Laxman noted that Dravid can help the Indian bowlers and batsmen get prepared both physically and mentally.
“What was really impressive about Rahul’s performance was that he, in a couple of Test matches, actually opened the batting and we all know how tough it is with the swinging ball, especially when it’s new,” Laxman said. “The bowling line-up hasn’t changed much. I am sure Rahul’s experience facing these bowlers will come in handy in his discussions with the batsmen – not only the strength and weakness of these bowlers, but also their mental approach to a particular batsman.”
Laxman also advised the Indian batsmen to speak to Dravid about the best way to construct an innings in English conditions.
“The reason why Rahul has been successful in English conditions is because of his mental discipline,” Laxman said. “In England, we all know that even if you are settled and playing well, because of a sudden change in weather conditions you have to almost restart your innings, which is different to the sub-continent or places like Australia.”
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have revealed that Dravid will only help the national team prepare for the Test series. When the series starts, Dravid will move from the Indian camp to the commentary box.
“I remember when I was playing for India, I would bump into Sunil Gavaskar, who was a master of technique, to discuss various issues I was facing,” Laxman said. “So even though Rahul may not be there with the team, he will be at the ground and the players can always approach him.”
Laxman also stated that he understood why Dravid had turned down the offer to become India’s next head coach.
“Everyone knows how good he is and how mature he is in communication with the youngsters”, Laxman said. “I am sure his experience and his exposure to various conditions in world cricket will help the youngsters in improving their game and doing well for India.”
Laxman added that he would not hesitate if he were given an opportunity to be India’s mentor.
“We benefited from the experiences our seniors shared with us. Ultimately all of us want Indian cricket to really blossom,” he said. “This current Indian team is an exciting group of cricketers, very skillful, I was very impressed with how they played in South Africa and New Zealand, so I am sure they will do well in future series as well. If I am required to help them, I will be more than happy to.”