Rahul Dravid confident about India's success at the 2016 ICC U-19 World Cup
India Under-19 team coach Rahul Dravid is confident that his side can perform well at the 2016 ICC U-19 World Cup which will be held in Bangladesh beginning January 22. The 42-year-old was, however, quick to add that emphasis should be put on the team’s performance as a whole rather than focusing plainly on results.
India have a proud history in the tournament having emerged champions thrice - in 2000, 2008 and 2012 - and heading into the eleventh edition of the prestigious trophy on the back of an impressive run of form.
The team led by Jharkhand wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan have, over the past month won back-to-back triangular series’ – first involving Bangladesh and Afghanistan and later, against tougher opposition in England and Sri Lanka.
While Dravid acknowledged that India are one of the favourites for the tournament, the batting legend is more focussed on the overall development of the players.
"They have potential and good young talent to perform well. Hopefully, they will grow as players and people and not just look at results. I hope they go on playing and represent the senior team and bring laurels for the country," Dravid said on Monday.
Dravid excited with his role as coach of the India A & India U-19 side
He might be less than six months into his job as coach of the India A and U-19 sides but, Dravid, a veteran of 164 Tests and 344 ODIs, is enjoying every moment of it.
Even before retiring from the game as one of the greatest batsmen to have ever played the game, The Wall had been serving as ‘mentor’ for the now suspended Rajasthan Royals franchise in the IPL, grooming youngsters like Sanju Samson and Karun Nair.
Dravid revealed that he is thrilled to be working with the youngsters as he attempts to impart his experience and knowledge to the promising cricketers.
"For me coaching and mentoring at the U-19 level is really helping young people on their journey which I had experienced myself when I was at that age. It gives me a platform to share my experiences, some of the learning I had over 20 years in the sport," he said.
"To be able to help a lot of young cricketers and fulfilling their dreams and making their journey possibly a little bit easier, it is sometimes a difficult, competitive, tough environment. It is really a fun part to coach a cricket team after I have retired."