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Dravid’s absence from New Zealand is defended by Ashwin

Dravid's absence from New Zealand is defended by Ashwin

Why an India coach would require a holiday when they get “two-three months” off during the IPL was a question raised by former coach Ravi Shastri.

R Ashwin defended Rahul Dravid’s decision to take a break from the current tour of New Zealand, pointing out the team’s physical and psychological strain ever since they started preparing for the 2022 T20 World Cup.

In Dravid’s absence, former India batter and current head of the National Cricket Academy VVS Laxman took charge of a different-looking Indian team that is without regular captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami and Ashwin himself.

They had detailed plans for each location and each opponent. They would therefore have been exhausted physically as well as mentally, and everyone needed a respite. We have the Bangladesh tour following the conclusion of the New Zealand series. For this tour, we have a different coaching staff under the direction of Laxman.

After winning four of their five group games, India advanced to the T20 World Cup semifinals but lost to eventual champions England.

Ravi Shastri, Dravid’s immediate predecessor, had questioned the need for a holiday for an India coach given that they receive “two-three months” off during the IPL.

For a tour of Zimbabwe earlier this year, Dravid had also been given a break. Prior to that, he and a few other first-choice players were permitted to concentrate on a Test match in England while a backup T20I team competed against Ireland in Dublin. Additionally, a group of unimportant players took part in an ODI series against South Africa at home in October while India’s T20 World Cup team was in Australia. Laxman had stepped in for Dravid on all of these instances.

Three T20Is and three ODIs, the final of which will take place on November 30, make up India’s trip of New Zealand. Four days later, they will be in Bangladesh for a series of three ODIs and two Tests, with Dravid probably taking the helm once more.

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