VVS Laxman likely to coach India on Ireland tour


VVS Laxman will step in as India’s head coach on their two-T20I tour of Ireland in late June, filling in for Rahul Dravid, who will instead be in England to assist the team’s preparation for the rescheduled fifth Test from the tour last year as well as the limited-overs series.

Dravid will be with India’s Test squad, which will play a four-day game in Leicester from June 24-27, before they move to Birmingham, where the Test against England will be played from July 1-5. He will join the tour party after the conclusion of India’s five-match T20I series against South Africa on June 19 in Bengaluru.

There will also be a clash of dates between India’s T20 warm-up games in England – against Northamptonshire and Derbyshire – and the Edgbaston Test, so there is a possibility of Laxman being with the team during those games as well.

Laxman is currently the director of cricket at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, a position he has been in since being appointed last year following Dravid’s elevation as head coach of the national team. He has earlier been involved in coaching capacities with Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL and Bengal in the Indian domestic circuit as a batting consultant. Earlier this year, he was part of the support staff group with the India Under-19 World Cup-winning team in the Caribbean.

India’s selectors are likely to pick separate squads for the tours on May 22. This is something they had to do in July last year too, when Dravid helmed the limited-overs leg in Sri Lanka with Shikhar Dhawan as captain, while Ravi Shastri was coach of the Virat Kohli-led Test team in England, for the World Test Championship final as well as the Test series that followed.

With barely a week between the end of the South Africa T20Is and the start of the games in Ireland, it remains to be seen if the selectors pick the same squad for the shortest format.

India’s Test specialists are likely to leave for England on June 15. The Birmingham Test was pushed back following a Covid-19 outbreak in the Indian camp last year. India, who currently lead the series 2-1, will look to seal their first Test series win in the country since 2007. Incidentally, that series was won under Dravid’s captaincy.


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