Head coach Rahul Dravid’s HONEYMOON period over after Asia Cup 2022 early EXIT, feels THIS former selector

Team India head coach Rahul Dravid will be starting to feel the heat. The former India captain joined Team India in Dubai for the Asia Cup 2022 at the last moment after suffering from COVID-19. However, his stay in UAE was not a happy one as Rohit Sharma’s side failed to defend their Asia Cup crown, bowing out early after losing their first two Super 4 matches against arch-rival Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

There will be need for plenty of introspection but there isn’t much time left before India head to Australia for the start of T20 World Cup 2022 next month. Former selector Saba Karim feels coach Dravid’s ‘honeymoon period’ with Team India is over.

“Well even Rahul Dravid is aware that the honeymoon period is over, and he is trying his best to be an alchemist but so far, such metals haven’t been converted into core. One would expect him to do that. This is crunch time for Rahul Dravid. With the World Cup T20 coming up, next year the ODI World Cup coming up. These two big ICC events, if India can win both these championships then only Rahul Dravid will be satisfied with the kind of inputs he has given to team India,” Saba Karim said on SPORTS18’s daily sports news show ‘Sports over the top’.

Karim further spoke about the inconsistent results under Dravid’s coaching. “If given an option Rahul Dravid would love to have those test series win in South Africa and the last test match in England. He would love to swap that with so many bilateral wins that India has got under his belt. But that’s the nature of the challenges which Rahul Dravid has to face,” the former India wicketkeeper felt.

“See Rahul is sensible and intelligent enough to understand that the only way he can define a successful tenure of his coaching career is if India – number one, wins ICC events and number two it starts to win Test series in SENA countries. I’m not talking about Test wins. Test wins even while Rahul Dravid was playing, India has done that. But more importantly, when India starts to win in SENA countries, the test series, that’s when Rahul Dravid will be very happy with team India’s performance,” he added.

Karim was left perplexed that Team India haven’t sorted out their playing XI so close to the T20 World Cup 2022. “Yes, even I was quite perplexed because I thought before heading into the Asia Cup, India have sorted their combination. But I can understand that they were hard done by the injuries to Jasprit Bumrah, Harshal Patel and then as recent as injury to Ravindra Jadeja.

“But having said that, once you get the combination right you can always replace that with the resources you have in hand. For instance, India has had a very successful T20 campaign starting from the home series against South Africa by sticking to 5 bowlers plus a sixth bowling option in Hardik Pandya, that’s the kind of combination India has gone ahead with, and India has won quite well at home against South Africa, in England even West Indies. And I don’t know for what reason India strayed from that path in the game after the first win against Pakistan and played with 5 bowlers including Hardik Pandya as a 5th bowling option.”

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