Team India is currently part of a three-match T20I series in New Zealand. But the side is without the services of some of their noted players like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. India also sent former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman to coach the Hardik Pandya-led Indian side as incumbent coach Rahul Dravid took a break from the entire New Zealand tour. Ravi Shastri, who was replaced as head coach by Dravid last year, was left fuming as the Indian legend took a break from the important tour. Responding to the criticism, Dinesh Karthik made a unique suggestion.
“I don’t believe it’s a break,” Shastri said before the series began. “Because I want to understand my team, I want to understand my players and then I want to be in control of the team. These breaks… why do you need so many breaks to be honest? You get your 2-3 months of IPL, that’s enough to as a coach they rested. But other times I think the coach should be in hand, whoever it is.” Speaking to Cricbuzz about Shastri’s comment, Karthik gave a logical explanation for Dravid’s absence by saying that India will travel to Bangladesh soon for a Test series and the competition will overlap with the ongoing tour of New Zealand.
“As we speak, the 30th team is going to Bangladesh and this New Zealand series will not stop on the 30th. I don’t think he can be in two places at once. So it’s very understandable,” he said. However, Karthik believes that with tours and series more likely to overlap with the volume of cricket played in the future, it is time for India to go England’s way and create two separate setups – one more red-ball cricket and one for white ball – with two separate coaches.
“This is something that Team India has to look at after the 2023 ODI World Cup when the contract will be renewed, I think split coaching is something that has a very high probability. With Test cricket, it takes on an interesting dynamic at the World Test Championship, which means that every two years you have something to play for. So you end up with a very different group of players playing Test cricket. In white-ball cricket, you will have players who will play both formats, but you will see that many Test players will not be part of it,” he explained.
“So I don’t mind having another Test and White Ball coach accepted by the England team. And when you play so much cricket where some tours tend to overlap, you’re going to have coaches picking what has more context. The two Tests in Bangladesh and the four against Australia are important now as they will give India a crack at the World Test Championship finals, which is why they decided to be a part of this series. Therefore, a full-fledged side to go to Bangladesh and Australia Test series. T20 is going to take a big backseat right now because you have two years to prepare for the next World Cup.”