Young guns talk about how well the Bangalorean mentored juniors like them
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) couldn’t have asked for anything better with legendary Rahul Dravid accepting to coach/mentor the India U-19 and ‘A’ squads on Saturday.
There were talks of Dravid even being offered to coach Team India, but the former India skipper was reportedly reluctant to take it up as he wanted to spend more time with his family. Instead, he chose to work with India’s supply chain of cricketers.
Youngsters, who worked closely with Dravid at Rajasthan Royals, swear by the Bangalorean’s methods. Deepak Hooda, who impressed with the Rajasthan Royals in the last Indian Premier League, said Dravid, as mentor, helped him develop an uncluttered mindset. “He has a solution for everything. At this age, we have so many questions and doubts over our game, but Rahul sir has helped me go into a match with a clear mindset. He helped youngsters (in RR) understand and read the game well. I call him before every tournament to help me prepare well. I don’t think anyone has as much knowledge about the modern game as he has,” the 20-year-old told SUNDAY mid-day from Baroda.
Harmeet Singh and Deepak Hooda
Dravid’s first assignment is a tri-series between ‘A’ teams of India, South Africa and Australia to be held in July in India. He will also travel with the India under-19 team for the World Cup in Bangladesh next year.
Left-arm spinner Harmeet Singh, who was part of India U-19 World Cup-winning team in 2012 and worked with Dravid during the 2013 IPL, said the RR mentor is more like a friend. “He is very friendly. He gives time to every youngster. He is very patient and loves to talk about cricket. He is easily approachable and very straightforward. Despite achieving so much on the field, he is so humble which is something to learn for every youngster,” said Harmeet.
Harmeet said Dravid treats youngsters and seniors at par. “You can express yourself freely. He mingles with youngsters and does not alienate them when seniors are around. You can knock his door even at odd hours for doubts and suggestions. He believes in a good dressing room environment,” said Harmeet.