Former SA Captain Graeme Smith Passes Verdict On Rahul Dravid As Team India Coach

Graeme Smith has spoken about the ongoing tenure of Rahul Dravid as coach of the Indian team after India’s crushing defeat at the hands of Australia in the WTC final. With India trying to end their prolonged struggle to clinch an ICC title, one of the biggest questions right now is whether the head coach of the team, Rahul Dravid, will get any contract extension even after team India fails at winning the trophy this year.

 The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) entrusted Dravid to enable the team to live up to their status as the “favourites” at the upcoming World Cup this year. However, despite some impressive performances by the team under Rahul Dravid, they failed to break their struggle for a trophy since the ICC title win in 2013. Before going into Graeme Smith’s analysis of Dravid, let us know about the legend himself.

Graeme Smith: Biography

Graeme Craig Smith was born on 1st February 1981. He was a blazing left-hander. A well-built man who’s nicknamed ‘Biff’ by his teammates for his ability to smash the ball across the boundaries, he became the captain of the South African team at the age of 22 years, making him his country’s youngest captain. After the departure of Shaun Pollock as captain after the 2003 World Cup, the responsibility for restoring the faith of his countrymen after the match-fixing scandal by Hansie Cronje. He immediately set out to rebuild the team.

Smith came to the limelight during the tour of England in 2003. In that test series, he made consecutive double centuries. His 259 remains, to date, the highest score by a foreigner at the Lord’s Stadium.

Smith was a strong and aggressive captain who led his team by example. Under him, the Proteas won a famous test series in Australia during the 2008-09 season. Under his captaincy, they repeated the feat once again in the 2012-13 tour of Australia. South Africa also crushed the then World no. 1 Test team and grabbed the honour for themselves under the captaincy of Graeme Smith.

Smith was lauded as the most successful Test captain ever after leading his side to victory over the Pakistani side in Cape Town. Graeme Smith’s stats speak for itself. With his 49th Test win as Captain, he went past Ricky Ponting who had achieved 48 wins for the Australian side.

Smith on Dravid

Graeme Smith reflected on Rahul Dravid's tenure as the head coach of the Indian team. Smith talked about the significant challenges that Dravid faces in this role. Smith further urged that the  BCCI should allow Dravid to reconstruct the Indian team.

According to Smith, the main challenge for an Indian coach is balancing and managing the squads, different formats and tour schedules. These decisions regarding the composition of the teams will be very significant and will be faced by Dravid and his team of selectors.

In an interview with the Times of India, Smith said, “The biggest challenge in India for a leader is balancing those squads, your tour schedules, the different formats, and those are some of the biggest decisions coming ahead of Rahul and his selection team. What do those squads look like, how do they move forward? He’s a quality man and a quality performer. He’s shown it right through as a coach. So, you’ve got to give him a fair opportunity now to rebuild India kind of.”

The year 2023 will be crucial for Rahul Dravid and his team as they try to break their trophyless run in the ICC ODI World Cup later this year. In fact, India’s performance in this World Cup will probably be crucial in deciding whether Dravid will be getting an extension of his contract as head coach.

How many centuries did Graeme Smith make in tests?
Graeme Smith made an incredible 27 centuries and 5 double centuries in Tests.
Did South Africa win a World Cup under Graeme Smith?
No. South Africa has not won a World Cup under Graeme Smith or any other captains as of now.
What is the World Cup 2023 schedule?
The ODI World Cup 2023 will be held in India from 5 October to 19 November 2023 in India.