“The BCCI must rush Dravid to Australia to help the team. No one can guide the batsmen better on how to play the moving ball in those conditions. His presence will be a huge boost to the Indian team in the nets. In any case, the NCA has been shut due to Covid for the past nine months, leaving him with little to do,” Vengsarkar told TOI on Saturday.
“The Board can make a better use of Dravid by utilising his services to help the national team, which will be without skipper Virat Kohli from now (last three Tests).”
“Even if he has to serve a mandatory two-week quarantine period, he should be available for helping the Indian team at the nets before the third Test in Sydney, which will begin from January 7,” Vengsarkar said.
Back in 2003, Dravid was the hero of India’s memorable four-wicket Test win at Adelaide, stroking 233 & 72 not out. In four Tests of that series, ‘The Wall’ scored 619 runs at an average of 123.8, with three fifties and a hundred under his belt.
Overall, in 16 Tests in Australia, Dravid has scored 1166 runs, averaging 41.64.
Over the years, there has increasingly been a feeling in the BCCI that Dravid needs to be involved with the national team during both home and away tours, and even more so at a time when there is practically no work pressure at the NCA.
Recently, the BCCI was forced to sack several coaches at the NCA during the pandemic due to lack of work. The likes of Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha and Hardik Pandya have been at the NCA for rehabilitation, but Dravid’s physical presence has hardly mattered in their recovery.
“It is time that Dravid is asked to be involved with the Indian team more,” asserted Vengsarkar, who was a former national chief selector.
In 2017, as the head of the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), Ganguly wanted Dravid to become the batting consultant for the Indian team while Shastri was made the head coach. However, Shastri’s choice of his own support staff was preferred.
Recently, the chief of Committee of Administrators (CoA) Vinod Rai had revealed that his committee had approached Dravid for the role of head coach, but the 47-year-old turned down the role.
Vengsarkar felt that India’s batsmen would do much better in the rest of the series, which will now be played with the red ball.
“I agree that the Aussies bowled a nagging line and length, but in Test match cricket, that is expected. The Indian batsmen, on their part, didn’t apply themselves and showed poor footwork and shot-selection. I guess India will breathe more freely with the red ball.”