On Tuesday, August 23, team India suffered a major setback when head coach Rahul Dravid tested positive for COVID-19. The Rohit Sharma-led team has arrived in Dubai for the Asia Cup, which begins on August 27. Dravid has not joined the team. The Indian board may very well appoint VVS Laxman as India’s coach for the mega-event.
The Indian team won one other series after defeating Zimbabwe in the season finale in Harare on Monday, August 22nd.
Rahul Dravid also wasn’t part of the Indian line-up on the Zimbabwe tour because VVS Laksman was given the name of the stand-in current coach for the three-match ODI series in the African nation, and now that news of Dravid’s positive Covid result has broken out, Laksman will most probably keep in his role in the Asia Cup.
Noticeably, India has already been missing ace bowling duo Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel, who has been reigned out of the tournament due to untimely injury issues. Dravid’s absence means that the Indian team will enter the transatlantic tournament without many of its most prominent players. Even though KL Rahul returned to the side upon recouping from the viral infection, he has not yet looked like himself yet and batted slowly in the third ODI against Zimbabwe. He will almost certainly open the Indian innings alongside trying to return skipper Rohit Sharma.
The absence of the former Indian head coach will be a point of concern for team management since he has been indeed very significant in his role of trying to keep things subdued and maintaining a positive environment in the dressing room amongst all the cutthroat competition for spots in the national team.
On Friday, BCCI secretary Jay Shah announced that India’s players and support personnel will make the journey to the UAE on August 20, one week before their first match against Pakistan. Vikram Rathour, India’s batting coach, and Paras Mhambrey, India’s bowling coach, have rested.
However, the Indian team has performed admirably under new coach VVS Laxman, who led a reasonably young Indian team to a crushing victory in the three-match ODI series against hosts Zimbabwe. The current National Cricket Academy (NCA) chief will also lead the national squad on their excursion to Ireland this year. It will look to stretch his undefeated run with the team in the Asia Cup opening game against arch-rivals Pakistan on August 28th.