Helping U-19 winners make senior transition main priority: Dravid

07 February, 2018, 01:56 | Author: Virgil Todd
  • Rahul Dravid — The tryst with the World Cup

I have been a teenager too. It was a record-breaking 4th U-19 World Cup title that India had won so far in the history.

"The challenge and the hard work really start from here". We had a couple of conversation on this.

At a press conference in Mumbai, Dravid affirmed, "Not lifting the World Cup (as player) is not a pain for me anymore. Six years down the line, the debatable point is who won that final", he summed up beautifully.

He added: "Talent and ability are there, it's about managing themselves, how to deal with pressure and the expectations that will come as U-19 champions". It's not easy to get into the India side. On being asked about their approach heading into the match, Dravid said, "The boys were aware that it's a big game considering the public's interest, but we didn't look at it differently from any other match".

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Former Indian U-19 World Cup winning captain Unmukt Chand believes that this victory had Dravid's signature all over it, as he hailed the momentous win during a chat with CricketNext. "My view is quite well known". "I feel that once the boys are good enough, they should go on to play men's cricket, especially those who have already played first-class cricket". He cited the instance of how only one player - medium-pacer Sandeep Sharma - went on to don national colours for the senior side, albeit only in two T20Is, whereas six of the members from the runners-up squad - Travis Head, Cameron Bancroft, Ashton Turner, Joel Paris, Ashton Agar and Gurinder Sandhu - represented Australia's senior team subsequently.

India's Under-19 bunch might have got themselves the flawless result at the World Cup, but for head coach Rahul Dravid, their pursuit of excellence begins now.

Dravid was glad that his team got an early taste of what an India-Pakistan game was all about. The process and planning was the same. We give them freedom in many ways, but there are certain boundaries they know they should not cross.

Mumbai (boys) U-16 off-spinner Yash Jathar revealed that around 35 U-16 players were at the airport: "We are very proud of them and they have motivated us". He is now playing a much higher form of cricket, matching his skills against cricketers who are superior for now, possessed of loftier goals and is sharing a dressing room with the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin. "That happens a lot at the Under-19 level because the boys are at different stages of development in their careers and just in their growth as players and people", told Dravid. The best performances came against Bangladesh and Pakistan in the quarterfinal and semifinal, respectively.

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