Former India skipper Rahul Dravid refuses to blame India's woes entirely on Duncan Fletcher
Here's some respite for coach Duncan Fletcher, who is facing severe criticism for India's successive debacles. Former India skipper Rahul Dravid has come out in defence of the beleaguered Fletcher.
India's coach Duncan Fletcher (right) speaks with Rahul Dravid during a practice session at Wankhede Stadium on November 21, 2011. Pic/AFP
"Sometimes the role of a coach is overrated and overstated. I really want to make the point clear so that sometimes we don't go overboard. The responsibility should always lie with the senior players as it's their team.
"A team is defined by what the senior players bring to the party. I think they are the ones who should perform. A coach can give you the right conditions and the right environment. But you can't necessarily judge coaches on results. And I know that they are always judged on results.
Someone who coaches Bangladesh is not going to necessarily win a game. Responsibility should lie with the senior leadership and the captain along with the coach. It's a collective responsibility," said Dravid on the sidelines of a Gillette event yesterday.
Dravid also expressed no intention of taking up any coaching role with the Indian team in the immediate future, in light of Sunil Gavaskar's suggestions that he be handed the coaching job.
"Firstly, I am happy and honoured that he thinks I am capable of doing the coaching job for India. At this point of time, obviously with time constraints, it is not possible. I have just finished playing cricket so it is extremely hard for me to devote that kind of time. But who knows some day, some time in the future after a few years...
"I am involved with Rajasthan Royals for a couple of months this time in a slightly different role. And, time permitting, I would love to work with the Under-19s or India 'A' on shorter tours. But really, the Indian coaching job unfortunately at this point of time is something I cannot do,"
he said. The nationality of a coach has always been a major talking point as far as the Indian team is concerned. Dravid said nationality shouldn't be a criteria in picking a suitable candidate. "You live in a very professional world today. Where the coach comes from is irrelevant to me.
"If the coach provides what the team needs, then it doesn't matter. You have had Indian coaches in various roles involved with the team in the past as well. Robin and Venkatesh had been involved. So for me nationality as such is not a thing. If you have to pick one-on-one, pick the best man and if he is an Indian so be it," Dravid concluded.