Thrilled to have Rahul Dravid's support, Nepal coach exults after beating India in U-19 Asia Cup
The legendary batsman offers another glimpse into his remarkably humble nature.
What's the story?
After vanquishing the highly-rated Indian team in the ACC U-19 Asia Cup in Malaysia, Nepal's delight was doubled when opposition coach Rahul Dravid walked up to his counterpart and congratulated the team wholeheartedly for their astonishing victory. Nepal's coach Binod Kumar Das revealed that the iconic batsman was magnanimous with his praise for the promising bunch of young cricketers.
"Dravid has been very humble. He congratulated us. He said we deserved this win as much as anybody else. He also said we played better than anybody else in the tournament. We are happy he acknowledges our effort. We are thrilled to have his support with us. We are all very excited about it because we have never beaten India at any level. Knowing India's strength, it is one of the biggest wins for us", an excited Das told ESPNCricinfo after the match.
On Sunday, Nepal created a massive splutter in the 2017 edition of the U-19 Asia Cup by pulling off a sensational 19-run victory against defending champions India.
The heart of the matter
Batting first on a pitch which began to show signs of sharp turn right from the outset, Nepal crawled to 185 for the loss of eight wickets. Captain Dipendra Singh Airee led from the front by scoring an invaluable 88. However, he was not done yet.
Dipendra produced a game-changing spell by picking up four crucial wickets to derail India's chase. The part-time bowler's decisive haul of four wickets for 39 runs instigated a catastrophic middle-order collapse. From a comfortable position of 91/1, India plummeted to 166 all out.
India can still qualify for the semi-finals. In order to reach the knockout stages of the tournament, they will have to defeat Bangladesh in the final pool A game on Tuesday. As for Nepal, they have to beat Malaysia and hope that the defending champions suffer another shock defeat. It is pertinent to note that India still hold the aces due to their substantially higher net run-rate.
Parallels from history
During the 2007 World Cup, Dravid had exemplified true sportsmanship spirit. After suffering an unprecedented upset at the hands of an unheralded Bangladesh team, the then Indian captain reserved some generous words of encouragement for a couple of emerging players from the opposition side.
Despite leading India to the shock defeat which would eventually knock them out of the tournament, Dravid invited the then 17-year old Tamim Iqbal to his hotel room and gifted him with two bats (the other one was for Tamim's teammate Mushfiqur Rahim) as a mark of appreciation for their performances in the game.
His admirable gesture towards the Nepal team reiterates Dravid's class and humble nature. For a legendary cricketer of such enormous accomplishments in the game, the manner in which he carries himself is a lesson in sportsmanship for all young cricketers.