When Rahul Dravid stepped into the role of India’s head coach, replacing Ravi Shastri in November 2021, there was a surge in expectations. Fast forward to the present, and Dravid’s 21-month tenure has been a mixed bag, leaving his coaching legacy in question. With the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup scheduled in India just around the corner, the stakes couldn’t be higher for the former Indian cricket captain.

Speculation and rumors swirl about Dravid’s future as the head coach. According to a PTI report, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) might be on the lookout for a new coach after the World Cup concludes in November. Additionally, there are suggestions that Dravid could continue as the Test coach, particularly in light of the challenging series against South Africa and England on the horizon.

However, an interesting twist emerges in this scenario. Ashish Nehra, who recently led the Gujarat Titans to an IPL title, is reportedly in contention. Nevertheless, Nehra seems hesitant to accept the position, as his contract with the Gujarat Titans extends until the end of the 2025 season.

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Adding another layer to the conversation, an anonymous former BCCI official suggested an alternative perspective. In the event that India triumphs in the World Cup, Dravid might choose to step down on a high note. This source also proposed that, post-World Cup, the BCCI should contemplate appointing separate coaches for different formats, allowing Dravid to concentrate on Test cricket.

Before assuming the role of the senior team’s head coach, Dravid had remarkably successful tenures with India’s Under-19 and ‘A’ teams. However, his stint with the senior team has encountered several setbacks. India failed to reach the Asia Cup 2022 final, experienced a Test series loss in South Africa, and faced defeat in the WTC final just last month. The team also exited the T20 World Cup in the semi-finals and suffered a loss to England in a rescheduled fifth Test.

“If India wins the World Cup, Dravid himself might not seek a renewal as he would prefer to conclude his tenure on a high. But in my opinion, after the World Cup, the BCCI should seriously consider appointing separate coaches for distinct formats. They should ask Rahul to continue as the coach for red-ball cricket,” recommended a former BCCI official, speaking anonymously to PTI.

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Given these recent performances, the pressure on Dravid is palpable. Rohit Sharma and his team are considered among the favorites for the upcoming World Cup, but their performance in front of the home crowd remains to be seen. The 50-over World Cup is scheduled from October 5 to November 19 and will feature 10 teams.

The impending World Cup, therefore, represents a pivotal moment for Dravid and Indian cricket. A successful campaign could extend Dravid’s coaching tenure and solidify his legacy. Conversely, another disappointment could lead to a complete overhaul, ushering in a new era with a potential new coach at the helm.

Dravid’s role as the head coach is now intrinsically tied to India’s performance in the upcoming World Cup. It is a defining juncture that could either cement his legacy or compel the BCCI to embark on another phase of self-reflection and decision-making. The clock is ticking, and Indian cricket enthusiasts await with bated breath to witness how this chapter unfolds.

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