Laxman, who is in charge of the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, is familiar with most of India’s players. He was their head coach during a tour of Ireland in July, and during a tour of Zimbabwe in August. India sent a second-string team for both those assignments. It’s different at the Asia Cup. Laxman will be working with a full-strength squad for the first time, although injuries have prevented Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel’s participation.
India, who won the Asia Cup when it was last played in 2018, begin this year’s campaign against Pakistan on August 28. This tournament will present them with another opportunity to fine tune their combinations for the T20 World Cup in October.
Dravid, it is understood, experienced only mild symptoms of Covid-19. A BCCI release on Wednesday said he “will join the team once he tests negative and is cleared by the medical team”.
Laxman, 47, is one of the best batters India has produced. His unbeaten 281 against Australia in 2000-01, while following-on, is still revered as one of the best innings ever played in Test cricket. He finished his career in 2012, with 8781 runs from 134 Tests, and moved on to coaching and commentary.
Laxman was heavily involved in the IPL as mentor to Sunrisers Hyderabad from 2013-21, when he was asked to take over as director of cricket at the NCA and create a roadmap for up-and-coming players to break into India’s men and women’s teams at both senior and junior level.