India’s head coach Rahul Dravid and his support staff will be granted a well-deserved break after the ongoing series against West Indies. During this period, the National Cricket Academy (NCA) staff will take charge of the team’s tour to Ireland. According to information obtained by Cricbuzz, Dravid and the rest of his coaching team, including batting coach Vikram Rathour and bowling coach Paras Mhambrey, will return to India in August from the United States, where the last two T20Is of the ongoing multi-format series will be held.
The primary reason for providing the coaching staff with a break is to ensure they have sufficient time to recuperate before the Asia Cup, which commences on August 31. Following the Asia Cup, the team will have several important assignments, including a three-match ODI series against Australia, culminating with the World Cup, which concludes on November 19.
The responsibility of managing the team during the Ireland tour will be entrusted to VVS Laxman, the head of the NCA. It is likely that Laxman will lead the coaching team alongside selected batting and bowling coaches from Sitanshu Kotak, Hrishikesh Kanitkar, Troy Cooley, and Sairaj Bahutule. Laxman had previously served as the coach when India toured Ireland for a couple of T20Is in June of the previous year.
The three Twenty20 Internationals in Ireland are scheduled to be played in Dublin on August 18, 20, and 23.
While the squad for the Ireland series has not yet been finalized, it is expected that Hardik Pandya will captain the side. The exact composition of the squad will be confirmed after a face-to-face discussion between Ajit Agarkar, the new selection committee chairman, Dravid, and captain Rohit Sharma. Agarkar is expected to join the team in the West Indies, likely during the second Test in Trinidad. Salil Ankola, a member of the selection committee, is already traveling with the team. After winning the first Test in Dominica, the Indian team will fly to Trinidad, the venue for the second Test, on Monday.
As previously reported by Cricbuzz, Jasprit Bumrah is expected to be included in the squad for the Ireland series. The Indian pace spearhead has made significant progress in recent times. It remains uncertain if Shreyas Iyer will be available, but KL Rahul will not only miss the Ireland series but also the Asia Cup. Rahul is currently undergoing rehabilitation at the NCA and, as per the latest information, has yet to start batting.
Meanwhile, the schedule for the Asia Cup is expected to be released soon, and contrary to some reports, there have been no changes to the original program. Sri Lanka will host nine games as previously decided, with matches expected to be played in Kandy and Dambulla. Lahore will serve as the additional venue, hosting four games. The Asia Cup is scheduled to take place in these two countries from August 31 to September 17.