India's new vice-captain KL Rahul said that putting team ahead of individual goals and devising a brand a cricket will be the prime objectives under new head coach Rahul Dravid as the team embarks on its first assignment under the new team management. Dravid took over the role of head coach from Ravi Shastri while Rohit Sharma has replaced Virat Kohli as the T20I captain.
Ahead of the first T20I against New Zealand on Wednesday, Rahul spoke about Dravid's coaching philosophy and the team culture they are aiming to build.
"As a youngster, I tried pick his brain and he was always kind to share his knowledge with us back in Karnataka. We are very excited to have him as we could hope to learn from him and understand the game better. He has always been a team man and that is the culture he wants to bring in here as well," Rahul said in the pre-match press conference on Monday.
Speaking about his role as the vice-captain, Rahul said that helping the youngsters settle in the team as an exciting responsibility.
"It will be an added responsibility but I have always enjoyed that. The most important thing is to make sure everyone who is coming into the dressing room is happy and feeling welcome. With Rahul Dravid coming in, I'm sure he'll make that happen."
Rahul said he is looking to play under Rohit Sharma's leadership and praised his ability as the captain which fetched Mumbai Indians five Indian Premier League titles.
"There is nothing new with Rohit being the captain and the stats are there for everyone to see with Mumbai Indians. He has great understanding of the game and is tactically very good. The next couple of weeks will be exciting for us to understand what kind of cricket we are going to play," he said.
After failing to reach the semifinals in the just-concluded 2021 T20 World Cup, Rahul said that the team's long-term plan will be to prepare for next year's World Cup in Australia.
"The long term goal is focus on the World Cup (in 2022), but we will focus on the process. We will look at one series at a time and one game at a time. For a template, I think we all need to sit and decide on what brand of cricket team India wants to play to get the best performances," he said.
Photo courtesy: BCCI on Twitter