Dravid quits India captaincy for batting

Published: Friday, September 14, 2007, 17:45 [IST]
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Prolific middle-order batsman Rahul Dravid has stepped down as India captain just a month after leading his team to a rare Test series victory in England, the country's cricket board said.

Dravid, who took over the captaincy from Sourav Ganguly in 2005, said he would continue playing for India, but wanted to concentrate on his batting.

"Rahul met (Indian cricket chief) Sharad Pawar on Thursday and expressed his desire to step down as captain of the Indian team," board secretary Niranjan Shah said in a statement on Friday.

"He requested that he should not be considered for the job for the ensuing Australia series. He further assured that he would extend his full co-operation to his successor and contribute as a batsman and a senior player.

"Rahul wanted to concentrate on his game."

Australia will arrive in India for seven one-day internationals later this month.

Dravid, 34, is the second Indian after Sachin Tendulkar to quit captaincy for batting in the last seven years. Tendulkar stepped down after a two-Test home series against South Africa in 2000 and was replaced with Ganguly.

India won eight Tests under Dravid, including series victories in the West Indies, Pakistan, Bangladesh and England. The success in the Caribbean in 2006 was India's first in 35 years, and last month they won their first Test series in England in two decades.

Nicknamed "The Wall" for his solid defence, Dravid has scored 9,492 runs in 112 Tests with 24 centuries and 10,534 runs in 327 one-day internationals with 12 hundreds.

He is only the third Indian after Tendulkar and Ganguly to score more than 10,000 runs in the shorter version of the game.

"He has discussed the issue with me twice. I think we need to respect his decision," said Pawar.

"He has recently told me that captaincy was affecting his game. He has said he would like to continue playing and improve upon his performance."

The Board of Control for Cricket in India was expected to discuss Dravid's resignation at a meeting next Tuesday.

"I think the reasons are personal. Every captain has his prerogatives. I think he was feeling the burden (of captaincy)," said Indian board vice-president Rajiv Shukla.

Dravid's most disappointing moment as one-day captain came in the World Cup in the Caribbean early this year when his team were knocked out in the first round after a shock defeat against Bangladesh in the opening match.

He opted out of the ongoing Twenty20 World Championships in South Africa and was replaced with wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Read more about: dravid, quits, captaincy, batting
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