Rahul Dravid or 'The Wall' as he is popularly known in Indian Cricket, after representing India for 15 years, is now contributing back to the game by coaching the nation's youth teams and helping to build a strong foundation for the senior team by grooming young batsmen under him. India A recently won a quadrangular series in Australia and India U-19 have won the Asia Cup under his coaching.
Dravid however chose to focus on the success of the national team under Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble and praised the environment they have managed to create which is motivating the players to give their best for the team, while also crediting the A team structure for producing young talent that is doing making the transition smoothly from domestic cricket to international cricket.
Dravid said in an interview with BCCI.TV, “It’s great to see these young boys coming through the ‘A’ team set-up and from domestic performances. It is a tribute to I think the environment created in the national set-up that they are coming through feeling comfortable and performing straightaway. Credit to Virat and Anil for the set-up and what they have been doing at the national level. So we are seeing the results, Nice to be a part of that process,”
Dravid also praised Karun Nair who has spent fair bit of time with him at Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils, “It’s fantastic. Incredible to score his first (Test) hundred and then go onto score a triple hundred. I think it not only speaks volumes about his ability but also his hunger and desire. That’s really important. It’s good and I am happy for Indian cricket and it is always good to see young people coming through. He can hopefully go on and build on from here. He has got the ability.
“Great to see guys like Karun, Rahul and Jayant, come along in this tour. Hardik Pandya got an opportunity from A tour but could not play as he got injured.” he added.
Dravid stated that his job is to ensure enough opportunities are presented to the younger players in the India A and India U-19 team, while results aren't something that he is too bothered about, he said, “We are always in touch with the national team as to what is the skill-set that they are looking at in the future. Try and give opportunities. If they are looking at all-rounders, we will try and play as many all-rounders as we can at the junior level to see which all-rounder can make the step-up.”
He added: “I don’t think U-19 and A team is about results. Yes, we want to get results but it is really more about giving exposure, developing young people. Coaching is not only about developing them as players but also developing them as people so that they can have meaningful careers and lives from wherever they go on from here.”
“May be someone, who may not be that good at the U-19 level, may go onto represent India and become your future star. In a lot of ways, U-19 and A tours as a feeding ground to national team.” he concluded.