Not winning the World Cup as player no longer a pain, feels Rahul Dravid
Coach Dravid attributes India's U-19 World Cup glory solely to the players' hard work.
What's the story?
Basking on the glory of helping India lift the 2018 U-19 World Cup, head coach Rahul Dravid feels that missing out on World Cup success during his playing career does not disappoint him anymore. Insisting that he does not dwell much on the past, the legendary batsman also attributed India's triumphant campaign in the tournament solely to the efforts of the players.
At a press conference in Mumbai, Dravid affirmed, "Not lifting the World Cup (as player) is not a pain for me anymore. My cricket career is over, it is a long time back. I have had disappointments in my career, not just lifting World Cup."
He added, “I am more happy for these boys. As a coach there are only so much we can do, at the end of the day, as a coach, you are dependent on the execution of the players. We are very realistic about our impact. Credit goes to these players. They are the ones who have put in the hours. Credit goes to them completely."
In the past...
During his stellar playing career, Dravid participated in three editions of the senior World Cup. While India exited in the Super Six stage in 1999, they progressed to the final of the 2003 edition under Sourav Ganguly's captaincy. However, they lost to a dominant Australian side. Dravid himself led India in the 2007 World Cup. But his team suffered a shock Group Stage exit.
The heart of the matter
Among all Indian batsmen who have scored at least 500 runs, Dravid's remarkable average of 61.42 is the highest in World Cup history. The right-hander played in 22 matches in the tournament and scored 860 runs with two centuries and six fifties.
Having been appointed as head coach of the Indian junior team, Dravid came close to tasting tournament glory when Ishan Kishan's team reached the final of the 2016 U-19 World Cup. However, the Indian colts were defeated in the title clash by a resurgent West Indies unit.
Upon entering the 2018 edition of the U-19 World Cup as favourites, Prithvi Shaw's side played to their potential and vanquished all comers to cruise to the title. Even as the Indian colts celebrated their fourth U-19 World Cup title, the triumph was a long awaited dream attaining fruition for head coach Dravid.
Parallels from history
After guiding the senior Indian team to the euphoric World Cup triumph in 2011, the then head coach and former South African opener Gary Kirsten termed the winning feeling as 'one of the great experiences' of his life.
Dravid's down to earth nature can be discerned from the admirable manner in which he has handled all adulation placed on him for guiding a talented Indian team to the U-19 title. While World Cup glory may have eluded him during his playing career, there is no doubting the fact that he is one of the greatest cricketers to ever grace the game.