Kolkata: Former Indian captain and currently the coach of India A and Under-19 teams, Rahul Dravid credits Test skipper Virat Kohli and coach Anil Kumble, for the impressive performances of young guns like Karun Nair and Jayant Yadav. “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 told in an interview to bcci.tv today. It is a bit of a modesty for Dravid though, who has been instrumental in grooming both Nair and Yadav when they were part of the India A side.
But as always, he would not like to take credit. Dravid is specifically happy with Nair with whom he has also shared the dressing room for the Delhi Daredevils and the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League. Nair scored a brilliant triple hundred against England in Chennai.
“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,” says Dravid whose India Under-19 team recently won the Asia Cup beating Sri Lanka.
Dravid however points out that he is more focused on supplying players to the senior team than on the performances of India A and Under-19 sides. “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. 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.”
And Dravid added, “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 work as a feeding ground to the national team.”
Meanwhile Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, too has lauded the efforts of the Indian Test team, especially the youngsters, that beat England 4-0. “Being Indians, it is but natural for us to feel elated. In the cricket series against England, India has triumphed 4-0. In this, the performance of some of the younger players deserves a special word of praise. The young Karun Nair scored a triple century and K L Rahul played a brilliant 199 run innings. Test captain Virat Kohli batted extremely well and also provided inspiring leadership,” said Modi in his Mann Ki Baat speech today.
(With inputs from PTI)