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As long as they learn, I don't care about much else: Rahul Dravid

By Nilabh Aole -

India's Under-19 team is all set to clinch the five-match Youth ODI series against England's Under-19 team in India. Practice sessions ahead of the fourth match were going through at the Wankhede Stadium. Till now the hosts are performing pretty well as in the first two ODIs, the India Under-19s opener Shubman Gill didn't show much character but in the third ODI, he played a brilliant match-winning knock of 138.

Gill's coach Rahul Dravid is also the mentor of India's Under-19 team and India A side as well. During an interview with ESPNcricinfo, talking about these two roles, Dravid said, "You're looking at skills and temperament. To identify the pitfalls for them at a higher level. If you don't improve in these areas, you will have a problem in the Ranji Trophy, making them aware of that. They don't play fast bowling, short bowling as much, we try to give them exposure of that here. It's a little more technical here compared with India A. Here you intervene. Here you have time. I tell them it doesn't matter where you are now, it matters where you are at the end of the cycle."

Dravid has done a great job the U-19 team as he has broadened India's pool by creating a healthy environment for studying the game and taking those lessons to take their game to another level. Talking about that, Dravid said, "As long as they learn, I don't care about much else. Even if you fail, if you go back with the right feedback, you're better off than having succeeded and not reflected on it. I was at an Under-17 camp and Hanumant Singh used to tell me, don't focus on results at this stage, focus on developing your career. I feel so similarly about this."

He further elaborated, "The more they fail, as long as they reflect upon it and recognize these are the shortcomings and this is what you need to improve on. That's our job, to make them aware of the things they need to work on and become better players. No magic pill; I can't give them a formula that will make them successful. It's up to them to go back and put in the work."

Dravid concluded by giving a piece of advice to the underperformers, he said, "Even if some of them don't make it to the [Under-19] World Cup, I want them to feel they've had an opportunity in and around the group. And they've got some level of feedback, exposure at this level so that it can only benefit them when they go back to play."

Nilabh Aole

I am genuine cricket fan, who respect the game as well