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Ravichandran Ashwin explains why Rahul Dravid and support staff opted to take a break from New Zealand tour

New Delhi : On Thursday, former India head coach Ravi Shastri was unimpressed with Rahul Dravid and support staff for taking a break by not being a part of the white-ball tour to New Zealand.

Now, ace India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin explained that why Dravid and other members of the support staff have taken the break, citing the mental and physical fatigue while preparing for a marquee tournament like the recent Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

VVS Laxman, the current head of the National Cricket Academy (NCA), is the stand-in head coach for the New Zealand tour, with Hrishikesh Kanitkar (batting coach), Sairaj Bahutule (bowling coach) and Munish Bali (fielding coach) assisting him for the white-ball matches.

“I will explain why Laxman has gone there with a completely different team because even that could be interpreted differently. 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,” said Ashwin on his Youtube channel.On India’s white-ball tour to New Zealand, Hardik Pandya is captaining the T20Is side while Shikhar Dhawan will be the skipper for the ODI series.

Ashwin also pointed out that India have to leave for Bangladesh just a day after white-ball tour of New Zealand ends, which is also why Dravid & Co took a break.”They had specific 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,” he added.

Earlier, Shastri, a member of the 1983 ODI World Cup winning squad, had said in a virtual press conference ahead of the T20I series opener that giving constant breaks to the main support staff led by Dravid is not good from the player-coach relationship perspective.

“I don’t believe in breaks. Because I want to understand my team, I want to understand my players and I want to then, be in control of that team. These breaks, what do you need that many breaks for, to be honest?

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



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