Dravid Recalls 2007 Heartbreak Ahead of India's 2023 World Cup Opener vs Australia

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Dravid Recalls 2007 Heartbreak Ahead of India’s 2023 World Cup Opener vs Australia

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In 2007, India’s World Cup campaign ended in shock group-stage exits, marked by losses to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Now, as India’s head coach, Rahul Dravid is preparing for his first ODI World Cup with Rohit Sharma’s team, commencing their title pursuit against Australia on October 8. This marks Dravid’s second ICC tournament as head coach, with India’s previous experience resulting in a T20 World Cup semi-final exit under the Dravid-Rohit partnership, suffering a 10-wicket defeat to England.

During his illustrious playing career, Dravid, a legendary batter, confronted various leadership challenges, with the 2007 ODI World Cup being a dark stain. In that tournament, India’s premature exit, plagued by defeats to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, left a lasting scar. More than 16 years have passed since that forgettable World Cup, and it appears Dravid has transcended those trying times.

In his current role, far removed from his playing days, Dravid’s focus is now solely on guiding India to World Cup glory as a key member of the team management. He openly acknowledges that he has “forgotten” what it means to be a player. Dravid stated during a pre-match press conference before India’s clash with Australia, “It’s been a long time since I was a player. I almost forgot that I was actually a cricket player at one stage, to be very honest with you.”

He continued, “I have moved on from that. I don’t think of myself as a player anymore. Maybe that’s the mind-space difference… I’m focused on helping the group to do the best they can. I mean, in the end, that’s the job of the support staff. The coach’s role is to support the captain’s vision and assist in its execution over the next few months, and I hope we can do that really well.”

Dravid, known for his emphasis on controlling what’s within one’s control, echoed this philosophy during his coaching tenure. He stated, “Yeah… I mean I guess you recognize as a coach that once the game starts, once the guys cross the line, there is only so much you can do. As coaches, we don’t score a single run or take a single wicket in the tournament. All we can do is really support the players.

Reference:

https://www.indiatoday.in/sports/cricket/story/rahul-dravid-2007-india-vs-australia-press-conference-chennai-2445651-2023-10-06

https://www.sportskeeda.com/cricket/news-i-almost-forgot-i-actually-cricket-player-one-stage-rahul-dravid-2007-world-cup

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