Ricky Ponting has stated that he was surprised with Rahul Dravid's decision to take up the role of Team India head coach. The former Australian captain, who coaches Delhi Capitals in IPL also revealed that he was offered India's head coach position during the 14th edition of the cash-rich league.
Team India have kickstarted their new era under Rahul Dravid with a five-wicket victory against New Zealand on Wednesday in Jaipur. The former Indian cricketer took over the head coach role from Ravi Shastri, who stepped down from the post after the conclusion of the T20 World Cup 2021. Dravid carries the experience of coaching the India A and the U-19 teams since 2015. Under his coaching, the U-19 team has reached the final of the Junior ODI World Cup twice, in 2016 and 2020. In 2018, they won the championship beating Australia in the final.
Meanwhile, Ricky Ponting has stated that he was surprised with Dravid's decision to take up the coaching role despite having a young family.
"Actually, I'm surprised that Dravid has taken it up as well. There was a lot of chat about how happy he was in his Under-19 role he had. I'm not sure about his family life but I'm sure he has got young kids. So I'm surprised that he took it but as I said, the people I spoke to were sure they got the right person so they were probably able to get Dravid to do it," Ponting said on The Grade Cricketer podcast.
Ponting has done a brilliant job as the head coach of Delhi Capitals in IPL. Under him, the Delhi-based franchise qualified for the playoffs in three successive seasons since 2019 including their maiden final in 2020. Speaking further on the India head coach role, the former Australia captain revealed that he was offered the post during IPL 2021. However, the 46-year-old did not accept the offer citing his workload and other preferences.
"I had a couple of conversations with some people during the IPL about it (the head coach gig). The people I spoke to were pretty hell bent to find a way to make it work. The first thing I said was that I can't give that much time, that means I can't coach in the IPL," on being asked if coaching India was an idea that appealed to him.
"I would have to give up the 7 stuff (Channel 7) in summer. It just can't work. But it’s nice to have people think that you can do these big jobs. But there's a lot more than comes with it other than just yes or no," Ponting added.