Rahul Dravid will travel with the Indian cricket team to Sri Lanka as coach for their limited-overs series in July. 

The former India captain and current National Cricket Academy head will take charge of the second-string side as the first-team support staff of Ravi Shastri, Bharat Arun, Vikram Rathour and R Sridhar will be with Virat Kohli’s men in England at that time for the World Test Championship final and the subsequent Test series against the hosts.

“The Team India coaching staff will be in the UK and it is best that the young team is guided by Dravid as he has already worked with almost all of the India ‘A’ boys. The comfort the youngsters share with him will be an added advantage,” a Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) official was quoted as saying by ANI.

Dravid had been in charge of the India ‘A’ and Under-19 teams before taking up the NCA responsibility. He has also been in touch with the senior team management to ensure bench strength is developed and maintained. Prior to that, he had been batting consultant to the senior team for the England tour in 2014.

India are scheduled to play three ODIs and as many T20Is in Sri Lanka starting from July 13. Meanwhile, the WTC final against New Zealand will be played in June in Southampton and the five-match Test series against England will commence in August. 

However, quarantine restrictions amid the ongoing pandemic mean Kohli’s team will be unable to shuttle between England and Sri Lanka in July, thus necessitating another set of players to travel to the island nation.

The make-up of Dravid’s support staff for Sri Lanka is not clear at the moment. Abhay Sharma, long-time fielding coach of ‘A’ and U-19 sides under Dravid, will be travelling with the India Women team to England this time, along with batting coach Shiv Sunder Das.

Featured photo: SAEED KHAN / AFP