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Rahul Dravid: From heartbreak in CWC 2007 to rising like a phoenix in T20 WC 2024

Rahul Dravid gets his biggest farewell gift as Team India lift T20 World Cup. The Journey of Rahul Dravid as Team India's head coach.


Team India won the T20 World Cup 2024 under Rahul Dravid as a Coach | Walking Wicket (Source_ ©BCCI_X)
Team India won the T20 World Cup 2024 under Rahul Dravid (Source: ©BCCI/X)

Occasion: 2007 ODI World Cup in West Indies

Biggest story: Rahul Dravid-led India suffer embarrassing first-round exit from the tournament


17 years later


Occasion: 2024 World T20 in West Indies

Biggest story: Rahul Dravid-coached India lift their second World T20 title.


Rahul Dravid’s career came full circle on June 29, 2024. As a player, he could not lift a single World Cup. And, as a captain, his team faced a humiliating first-round exit in the 2007 ODI World Cup in West Indies. But as a coach, he finally lifted a World Cup trophy when India won the T20 World Cup 2024 title in West Indies under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma. It was also the last game for coach Dravid, as he signs off with a perfect farewell gifted by his boys.


But it was not an easy job. Since he took over, India faced the biggest challenge of not being able to cross the final hurdle. His team was knocked out by England in 2022 World T20 semis by 10 wickets. His team lost the World Test Championship final for the second time in a row. And if that wasn’t enough to break hearts, India under Dravid, lost the 2023 ODI World Cup final to Australia after being unbeaten throughout the competition. But that changed after Rohit led his team from a come-from-behind victory in the final of the 2024 World T20.


So, how Dravid coached his team from two ICC final losses to a World T20 glory in a matter of months?


Helping his team keep a positive mind-set

Suffering two back-to-back losses in the ICC finals would break even the toughest of players. Rohit even admitted going into depression post the 2023 ODI World Cup final loss. He took some time to get over it and moved on. Here, the role of coach Dravid came into play. He motivated his team to get back into a positive mind-set with another chance at World Cup glory few months away. He didn’t let those heart-breaking losses affect him or his team. He helped them quickly get over the losses and prepare for the World T20. 


And boy, the ‘Men in Blue’ did turn up all positive and firing in the tournament, going unbeaten throughout the edition to lift the trophy, becoming the first team to do. Even when the final looked all but over, Rohit and his men didn’t give up and kept fighting till the end. The hurt of the 2023 ODI World Cup final loss kept pushing them to give their all till the last ball as it is not over until it is over in cricket. And, Rohit and his men did well to finally break the final jinx.



ICC Men's T20 World cup 2022_ Rohit Sharma, Rahul Dravid during the practice session of T20 World Cup at Melbourne_ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©X_Twitter)
Dravid had a good partnership with Rohit as captain-coach (Source: ©X/Twitter)
Great team environment

Any team could break post two heart-breaking losses in finals. But, credit to coach Dravid and his staff, they didn’t let it come in between the team environment. They ensured India was in a happy space despite the losses, and came out stronger the next time. And the ‘Men in Blue’ did show character fighting from a losing spot to go all the way to win the title. Post the win, the players were in tears, and full of emotion, showing how much this win meant to them. 


There was great camaraderie to be seen post the win as ‘Men in Blue’ cried together and hugged and congratulated each other. The players also showed appreciation for their coach Dravid when they lifted him above the shoulders to give him a perfect farewell. If not for this positive environment created by Dravid and his coaching staff, India would have perhaps never made it so far. 



Dravid backed his players to the hilt

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli would not even have been part of this World T20 edition as they didn’t play this format much post the 2022 World T20 semi-final exit. But they came back in the team on the back of their rich experience as coach Dravid needed them in critical juncture of the tournament. And Rohit-Kohli repaid all the faith put on by Dravid and his coaching staff. The duo altered their game to suit the dynamic need of this format. Both showed great intent in scoring quick runs to maximise their powerplay. While Rohit scored a few match-winning fifties, Kohli made a crucial half-ton in the final. 


The coach also backed their players who were not having a good run, but were qualified enough to lift their game in crucial phases. The backing of Shivam Dube and Ravindra Jadeja helped the team retain them and maintain a winning combination that proved enough for South Africa in the final.

Playing collectively well as a team

Dravid helped his team understand the importance of playing as a team. India’s successful campaign can be credited to India playing well as a unit rather than banking on some individual performances. Throughout the campaign, there were few players who lifted their hands to do the job for India. 


Suryakumar Yadav’s last-over catch was equally impactful as Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah’s contribution in the final. A lot of credit goes to the coach and his staff for instilling in them the freedom to go all out and play with a new style of intent and aggressive brand of cricket. This collective team work helped India cross the line finally, and lift the World Cup after 13 long years.


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