Sunny and Jammy, an 'old' love affair

Sunil Gavaskar's 'affection' towards Rahul Dravid is nothing new. Over the last few years, Dravid, the quintessential professional that he is, has impressed Gavaskar with his methodical and hard-working approach.

updated: March 13, 2014 18:02 IST
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Indian team's current players are known as 'Gen-Next' cricketers. By definition, 'Generation Next' professionals 'Work hard and party harder'. In recent months, the image of the Virat Kohlis, the Ravindra Jadejas and the Rohit Sharmas have taken a beating. Experts have questioned Team India's work ethics and the team and its support staff have been slammed for their lackadaisical attitude in the last three series in South Africa, New Zealand and Bangladesh (Asia Cup).

A clamour for change is being harped upon just days before Team India's departure for the biggest world event of 2014 - ICC World Twenty20. Many have argued that it is important to have faith in the captain and let him stay put at least till the 2015 World Cup but it is the work culture within the team that has disappointed legends like Sunil Gavaskar and Bishan Bedi. Work ethics reflect the level of conviction in a team. On tours, it's the job of the team management, usually comprising the coaches, captain and the manager, to keep the team mentally and physically healthy and battle-ready. This is where chief coach Duncan Fletcher and his staff have been found wanting of late.

Fletcher's contract with the BCCI is till March end. He took over after Gary Kirsten left post-World Cup win in 2011. Fletcher had the backing of Kirsten because the former Zimbabwean had a successful stint with England and had an impressive CV. But Fletcher has been relatively unsuccessful although India won the ICC Champions Trophy in UK last year. The daggers came out after India's shoddy performance on the tours of South Africa, New Zealand and Asia Cup in Bangladesh. Gavaskar has been the most vocal. The former opener, never short of logic, wants Rahul Dravid to replace Fletcher at the earliest.

What Dravid brings is a mantra of 'work hard and party later'. As captain-cum-coach of IPL team Rajasthan Royals, Dravid has seen the height of both gruelling cricket and entertainment. Except for a few black sheep, he managed a team of rookies rather well. Dravid, thus, was not only a hard-task master but one who led by example. Dravid continue to be Rajasthan's mentor and Gavaskar feels it's time to expand the 'Wall's' work profile.

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