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ICC Under 19 World Cup 2016: Dravid's words of wisdom post title clash loss

India Under 19 lost to West Indies Under 19 by 5 wickets in the final of the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup 2016.

Rahul Dravid Under 19 World Cup
Dravid was gracious in defeat as well as he termed India’s loss in the U19 WC final as a part of the learning curve

The young colts from India stumbled in their ultimate quest to be crowned as the ‘Junior World Champions,’ much to the dismay of the fans, apart from the players themselves.

It was certainly not a speculated outcome for a team that had not only remained unbeaten in the tournament but had handled similar pressure situations in the past.

The team losing early wickets was quite a norm during the tournament, but recovery was the missing entity in the summit clash.

A total of 145 runs seemed hardly challenging post the conclusion of the team’s batting effort, but they were not ready to give up as yet as the team stretched their opponents from the Caribbean to the 50th over of the chase, thanks mainly to the splendid effort showcased by Mayank Dagar with his slow left arm spin.

It’s not easy being Rahul Dravid as he again missed an opportunity to be a part of a World Cup-winning team, this time as the coach of the Under-19 Indian team. But Dravid, in his trademark selfless style voiced his disappointment for his young team during his interaction with the media.

There’s a learning in everything: Dravid

“Not yet. I am disappointed for them. It’s tough for a lot of these young kids but it’s hopefully a start of the journey for them. We’ve tasted a lot of success as a team, it’s only the first match we’ve lost and unfortunately, for us it was the biggest game.

“But, there’s a learning in everything. I think in their long journeys as cricketers they are going to face a lot of ups and downs, see (a) lot of success, (and) hopefully face disappointments as well.

“This is a learning. If we can learn some lessons from it and if they can go on to become better cricketers and better people, that’s really the purpose of the tournament.”

He continued to appreciate the spirit within the team that helped them gauge difficult situations in the past, highlighting it as a positive takeaway for the team. “We have found ourselves in a lot of pressure situations over the last three months.

“Whether it’s been in India or in Sri Lanka, even in this World Cup, we’ve found ourselves in pressure situations and we’ve also come out of it, always found someone to fight.

“I think that’s been the characteristic for me about this team — they’ve got good team spirit. There are people who really want to compete, play and find themselves out of difficult situations. Unfortunately, we put ourselves in too difficult a situation today that we couldn’t pull ourselves back”, he added.

He also shed some light on the road ahead for these passionate youngsters and the transitional challenge that lays ahead of these talented budding cricketers to make a stake for the senior side that boasts of some exceptional cricketers.

Sararaz Khan Under 19 World Cup final
Sarfaraz Khan had a brilliant tournament as he scored 355 runs with 7 fifties

Moving on to men’s cricket the biggest challenge: Dravid

“There’s an incredible desire to improve, a desire to keep getting better and keep learning. That’s been the real positive. There’s a lot of passion for the game. I think it’s now really about being smart and figuring out what are the skills required.

“I think one of the biggest challenges for these boys now is that from here they move on to men’s cricket. I was telling some of them at one stage, you’ve competed with U-19 boys to get into this U-19 India team.

“You’ve competed with boys of your age who maybe weren’t as talented as you are. But when you suddenly walk out of here and you’re going to have to compete with the senior Indian boys – with a Rohit Sharma or a Virat Kohli or an Ajinkya Rahane.

“It’s a challenge and it will take time. Not all of them are going to compete tomorrow for Indian spots, it takes a few years. But that’s what lies ahead of them. You’ve got to keep improving, you’ve got to keep getting better.

“You have to challenge yourself, you have to push yourself and learn quickly because first class cricket is a tough environment and the last thing you want is for some of them to fall behind”, he signs off.

Yes, the title is beyond their reach now, but these words of wisdom from Dravid would certainly be a credible guide towards the future stars bigger aspirations.

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