Rahul Dravid gets a chance to put India’s terrible World Cup performance from 2007 behind him. Rahul Dravid led India to some of its greatest cricketing achievements in the 2000s. These included the first Test series triumph in the West Indies in 35 years (in 2006), the first Test victory on South African soil (in December 2006), the first Test victory in England in 26 years, and 17 straight successful run-chases in One-Day Internationals.
Despite these dazzling successes, India’s first-round expulsion from the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean, a competition they had entered as favourites but withdrew with their tails between their legs after defeats to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, will be mostly remembered for his captaincy stint.
The same competition might be the setting for Dravid’s comeback as head coach of the national team, 16 and a half years later. The 50-year-old will be the first to admit that his tenure has been like the fabled Curate’s egg—good in parts—nearly two years into the position.
India has had its moments, but their standing as a touring Test team has suffered a little. After a humiliating quarterfinal exit at the T20 World Cup in Adelaide last November and a loss to Australia in the World Test Championship final in June, their quest for a major trophy has extended to a further eleven years.
As Dravid’s two-year mandate comes to an end, the World Cup presents a magnificent opportunity to erase those unpleasant memories.
As he emphasised prior to India’s departure towards the end of August for the Asia Cup, which they won in Colombo last month, Dravid isn’t great at leaving legacies. When asked if he thought the World Cup would define his time as coach, he appeared briefly taken aback but immediately regained composure to respond, “I’m not into legacies. Playing in a World Cup at home is fun.