“Not Only Mental But…”: R Ashwin Defends Rahul Dravid, Coaching Staff For Taking Break From New Zealand Tour

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India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has defended head coach Rahul Dravid and other members of the coaching staff for taking a break from the ongoing New Zealand series. Ashwin’s comments have come two days after former head coach Ravi Shastri said that he does not understand why the coaching staff need to take break when they get enough amount of rest during the Indian Premier League. Ashwin said that Dravid and co. put in extensive hard work during the T20 World Cup, where Team India managed to reach the semi-finals, but a loss against England knocked them out.

“I will explain why Laxman has gone there with a completely different team because even that could be interpreted differently here. Rahul Dravid and his team put in extensive hard work ahead of the T20 World Cup, right from planning, since I saw this from close quarters, I’m saying this,”Ashwin said on his YouTube channel.

“They had specific and in-depth plans for each venue and each opposition. So, they would have been under not only mental but also physical burnout and everyone needed a break. As soon as the New Zealand series ends, we have the Bangladesh tour. That’s why we have a different coaching staff led by Laxman for this tour. This also shows we have a lot of talent lying here in India and they are getting their opportunities, not only from a playing front but also from a coaching front,” he added.

For India’s ongoing white-ball series against New Zealand, head coach Rahul Dravid and his team of coaches including Paras Mhambrey (bowling coach) and T Dilip (fielding coach) have been given a break and in their places, National Cricket Academy (NCA) head VVS Laxman would be overseeing the proceedings. This is not the first time, that Dravid has taken a break, as he had also not toured Ireland as the Test series against England was around the corner.

Former Team India head coach Ravi Shastri has said that he is not in favour of coaches being given breaks as the rest during two-three months of the IPL is enough.

“Very good question, I do not believe in breaks because I want to understand my team, I want to understand my players and I want to be then in control of that team. I mean these breaks, what do you need them for,” said Shastri during a select media call organised by Prime Video.

“You get 2-3 months off during the IPL, that’s enough time for you to rest as a coach, other times, I think the coach should be hands-on, whoever he is,” he added.

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