Dravid will bring culture of putting team ahead of self: KL Rahul

Jaipur: Ahead of the three T20Is against New Zealand, India’s new T20 vice-captain K L Rahul on Monday said that new head coach Rahul Dravid will bring with him a culture in which the players put the team above their personal goals.

The upcoming T20 home series against Black Caps will start a new era for Indian cricket under the leadership of Rohit Sharma and the coaching of Dravid.

The vice-captain spoke about his experience with Dravid in the India A team and the coach’s vision for the Indian cricket team.

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“When it comes to coaching, I’ve played a couple of games with the India A set-up [under Dravid], and we’ve had a small chat just before coming out here for training, and he’s somebody who’s big on setting a good team culture and creating an atmosphere where people are thriving and trying to get better as people and as cricketers,” said Rahul in a press conference ahead of the first T20 on Wednesday.

“He’s always been a team man when he was playing, and that’s the kind of culture he wants to bring in here as well, where everyone’s putting the team ahead of personal goals,” he added.

Rahul, who plays for Karnataka, the same state team that Dravid represented, has known him ever since the time he was coming up the age-group ranks. He feels it’ll be a great opportunity for Indian cricketers to learn from the batting great and get better as cricketers.

“I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve known him for a very long time. Obviously, as a youngster I did try and pick his brain and I did understand the game better, and understand the art of batting better from [having talked to] him, and he’s been more than kind and he’s been very helpful to all of us back home in Karnataka,” said India opener.

“Obviously since he’s finished playing he’s been [coaching] different teams and he’s been helping the boys around the country, so to have him here with this set-up is a great opportunity for all of us to learn from him. We all know what a big name Rahul Dravid is in Indian cricket and the kind of things he has done for our country.

So it’ll be a great opportunity and great time for all of us to learn from him and get better as cricketers and understand the game better, and understand the game from his point of view,” he added.

India were outplayed by New Zealand and Pakistan in the 2021 Men’s T20 World Cup. With the next edition only 12 months away, Rahul said India”s T20 template, the brand of cricket will become evident over the coming days.

“We all need to sit down together and make a collective call on what is the best template or the best brand of cricket that we need to play to make sure that India is getting better performances. It will be a discussion we will have in the next couple of days. It all starts from here,” he said.

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