Ricky Ponting Photograph:( Reuters )
Dravid is credited for India's steady supply of young talent as head of the National Cricket Academy. He has been in charge of the national 'A' and U-19 set-up for the past six years
With Ravi Shastri's tenure as head coach of the Indian cricket team set to end after the Twenty20 World Cup, fans in the cricket-crazy nation are waiting for a formal announcement on who will be the next coach. However, if reports are to be believed, former Test cricket stalwart Rahul Dravid is set to succeed Shastri.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is expected to reveal the name with Dravid reportedly being the favourite. However, he is not the only one BCCI had approached as previously, media reports revealed that the Indian cricket board considered Anil Kumble and VVS Laxman names as well.
But rumours that BCCI even approached Australian legend Ricky Ponting has grabbed everyone's attention as a report published by Times of India confirmed that Ponting name was also considered but the two-time World Cup-winning captain refused the offer, reason unknown so far.
Ponting's coaching career can be defined by his remarkable stint with the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise, Delhi Capitals (DC). His guidance as the coach is credited for DC's growth in the cash-rich cricket league in the past few years.
On the other hand, Dravid is credited for India's steady supply of young talent as head of the National Cricket Academy. He has been in charge of the national 'A' and U-19 set-up for the past six years. He has played 164 Tests and 344 one-dayers between 1996 and 2012 for India.
Dravid currently heads the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru and was in Dubai during the just-concluded IPL to meet his former teammate and BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and Board secretary Jay Shah for an elaborate discussion.
As far as the T20 World Cup is considered, India will kick off their T20 World Cup campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai. The tournament was scheduled to be held in India but the COVID-19 situation in the country forced organisers to shift it to the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
Ahead of the tournament, India tweaked its squad as Shardul Thakur has been added to the 15-member squad as he replaced Axar Patel, who will now be on the list of standby players.