While the Indian team was accommodated at the Marriott in Miami, Dravid made the effort to drive down and meet the BCCI boss © BCCI
Jay Shah recently had a meeting with Rahul Dravid in Miami, which might initially seem like a regular interaction between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary and Team India Head Coach. However, there’s more to this offshore rendezvous than meets the eye. This meeting took place before the commencement of the two Twenty20 Internationals against West Indies at Lauderhill, Florida, on August 12 and 13.
According to Cricbuzz, the meeting reportedly lasted for nearly two hours and was held at the hotel where the BCCI secretary was staying. While the Indian team was accommodated at the Marriott in Miami, Dravid made the effort to drive down and meet the BCCI boss. This meeting comes at a time when Shah was in the US for a private visit, and he was even captured by television cameras during the fifth and final T20I on August 13.
Although it might appear to be a routine occurrence, the significance of this meeting should not be underestimated. It arrives ahead of two crucial assignments for the Indian team, namely the Asia Cup and the World Cup. While it’s evident that some level of planning for these significant events may have taken place during this meeting, the specific details remain undisclosed. The question of whether there will be any additions to the coaching staff also lingers. As of now, there is no information about anyone joining the preparatory camp for the Asia Cup, which is scheduled to take place in Alur, Bengaluru, starting from August 24.
It’s worth noting that this meeting occurs against the backdrop of the Indian team’s underwhelming performance, which has attracted considerable criticism due to recent results. Shah has been clear about the BCCI’s strong desire to win the World Cup, which it is hosting.
Various experts have voiced their criticisms regarding the team’s management of players and matches, particularly focusing on the performance of the Indian batting line-up. For instance, Parthiv Patel suggested on Cricbuzz that Team India might benefit from having a separate coach for the T20Is. Additionally, Venkatesh Prasad, a former India pacer and bowling coach, expressed strong disappointment with Dravid’s leadership, citing ordinary performances and a lack of hunger and intensity in the team’s approach. He stressed the need to avoid complacency and prioritise improvement over favoritism.
Meanwhile, the selection committee is yet to receive information about when the team for the Asia Cup will be finalized. With Dravid and his team back in India, it is anticipated that the selection process will take place in the coming days. Some sources suggest that the selection might happen after the first Twenty20I in Ireland, where Jasprit Bumrah is set to return to action after nearly 11 months.
Regarding KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer, who recently participated in a warm-up game at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, there has been no official communication from the NCA managers to the selectors. While it’s not to imply that either player hasn’t achieved match fitness, the formal approval from the NCA is still pending. The expectation is that the NCA will inform both the BCCI and the selectors ahead of the selection meeting.