July 14, 2024

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Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid ahead of Cricket World Cup 2023 Final© AFP

Rahul Dravid stood like a rock behind the players after the T20 World Cup semifinal thrashing at the hands of England last year, and Indian captain Rohit Sharma on Saturday longed to win the 50-over version now as a fitting tribute to the head coach for his “massive contribution” to the country’s cricketing landscape. Sunday could well be Dravid’s last day in his office and there won’t be a better farewell gift to one of the legends of Indian cricket, who missed that elusive silverware as a player. “The way he stood by the players in difficult times during the T20 World Cup, we had a good run until that semifinal and we lost and how he reacted to certain situations and informing the players about this is what we are looking at and all of that says a lot about him,” remarked Rohit on the eve of India’s title clash against Australia.

“Obviously, what he has done for Indian cricket is massive. He also feels that he wants to be part of this big occasion. It’s for us to do it for him,” he added.

Rohit believes that despite being the proverbial chalk and cheese in terms of cricketing philosophies, Dravid did buy into former’s ideas and strategies, which in turn allowed him the freedom to operate.

“His role has been absolutely massive in terms of getting that clarity, which I keep talking about. There’s one thing for me to think about and the other thing for coach to not agree to certain things.

“Clearly, looking at how Rahul bhai himself has played his cricket and how I am playing these days, obviously it’s quite contrasting.

“For him to agree and give me that freedom and liberty to go and play the way we want to play, that says a lot about him,” said an effusive Rohit.

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