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Australia v India

Why Rahul Dravid was trending on social media after India’s Brisbane win

Rahul Dravid Brisbane
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

It might be close to a decade since Rahul Dravid exited international cricket, but his legacy continues to live on in the game through the next set of India international players.

As a new-look Indian team clinched a historic win on Tuesday, beating Australia at Brisbane to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, praise around Dravid, India’s former captain and one of their most celebrated Test batsmen, started to do the rounds on social media.

With some of its most prominent names missing from action, an injury-beleaguered Indian team had to field some of its fringe players in the Test series, but the replacement options proved to be the right fit for the red-ball challenge, despite their limited to no experience playing Test cricket.

After the win, “Rahul Dravid” started to trend on Twitter in India, as fans thanked the 48-year-old for his pivotal role in helping the fresh set of Test players get ready for international cricket, as part of his larger role in shaping Indian cricket’s next breed of players.

After he retired from Test cricket in March 2012, Dravid was associated for an additional year with Rajasthan Royals as player-cum-coach, possibly his first step towards taking on a full-fledged coaching role in the Indian setup. After acting as a mentor to the Royals, he joined the Indian team as a batting consultant on away tours, before being named the coach of India’s U19 and ‘A’ teams in 2015.

Over the last half a decade, Dravid has worked closely with India’s upcoming youngsters, starting with the batch of the U19 World Cup in 2016, which featured the likes of Rishabh Pant, Washington Sundar and Khaleel Ahmed, among others, to the victorious U19 bunch of 2018, two of whose biggest stars – Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw – were part of the title-winning India squad in Australia.

Along the way, he has also helped hone the talents of India’s A group, which act as a conveyor belt for channelling potential players towards the national side, and has played a crucial role in the career progress of Mayank Agarwal, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson and Navdeep Saini, to name a few.

Even as his pupils, Pant, Sundar and Gill, played a big part in India’s Gabba triumph, social media hailed the role of Dravid, who is now the director of India’s National Cricket Academy.

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