International Cricket

VVS Laxman likely to coach India on Ireland tour

VVS Laxman is likely to coach India on their short tour of Ireland, filling in for Rahul Dravid who will instead be in England to assist the team’s preparation for rescheduled fifth Test 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 rescheduled Test against Engalnd would be played from July 1-5. He will join India’s tour party after the conclusion of India’s five-match T20I series against South Africa on June 19 in Bengaluru.

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.

Laxman has earlier been involved in coaching capacities with Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL and Indian domestic team Bengal as a batting consultant. Earlier this year, he was in charge of India’s 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, when Dravid helmed the limited-overs leg in Sri Lanka along with Shikhar Dhawan, while Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli oversaw the Test team in England, for the World Test Championship (WTC) 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 Ireland ones, it remains to be seen if the selectors pick the same squad for the shortest format.

Meanwhile, 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 before he decided to step down.

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