VVS Laxman has been named India’s interim head coach for Asia Cup 2022 in the absence of Rahul Dravid, who tested positive for Covid-19 and has not linked up with the Indian team yet in the UAE, the BCCI announced on Wednesday.
VVS Laxman named India’s interim coach for Asia Cup 2022 after Dravid gets Covid
VVS Laxman has been named India’s interim head coach for Asia Cup 2022 in the absence of Rahul Dravid, who tested positive for Covid-19 and has not linked up with the Indian team yet in the UAE, the BCCI announced on Wednesday. Laxman, the NCA chief, has filled in as head coach in the past during India’s tours of Zimbabwe and Ireland (where the team played two T20Is) and has joined the rest of the Indian squad with KL Rahul, Deepak Hooda and Avesh Khan.
“Mr. VVS Laxman, Head Cricket, NCA will be the interim Head Coach for Team India (Senior Men) for the upcoming ACC Asia Cup 2022, to be played in the UAE,” the BCCI said in a release. “Mr. Laxman, who travelled with the Indian team that played the ODI series in Zimbabwe will oversee the team’s preparation in the absence of Mr. Rahul Dravid, who tested positive for Covid-19 before the team’s departure to the UAE. Mr. Dravid will join the team once he tests negative and is cleared by the BCCI Medical Team.”
Reports of Dravid contracting Covid emerged on Tuesday when he did not travel with the Indian team to the UAE on Tuesday. The BCCI later confirmed that news that India’s head coach was indeed returned a positive result during a routine test and that he was showing mild symptoms. As stated in the release, Dravid will join the unit once he returned a negative result.
Former India coach Ravi Shastri feels that it is only a matter of time before Dravid recovers. In fact, Shastri was confident that Dravid will be back before India’s Asia Cup 2022 opener against Pakistan on Sunday. “In three-four days, it will be fine, and he will be back in the park. I don’t think it will make that much of a difference. Today, they don’t call it Covid; it’s just a bloody flu. In 3-4 days, it will be fine,” Shastri said in a press conference organised by Star Sports, the official broadcaster of Asia Cup 2022.
The Asia Cup gets underway on August 27 and India will kick-off their campaign against arch rivals Pakistan a day later in Dubai. The tournament will also mark a return of Virat Kohli, who had taken a break from the sport after India’s tour of England. KL Rahul, who just returned from an injury and was part of the Zimbabwe tour, is part of India’s squad.
Rohit Sharma will be back taking charge as the captain, although India’s premier seamer Jasprit Bumrah is skipping the tournament due to a back spasm. In his absence, experienced pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar will lead a young seam attack with Avesh and Arshdeep Singh featuring as the other two pace options.