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I will be more happy if U-19 cricketers play for India in future: Rahul Dravid

Ahead of the team's departure to Bangladesh, under-19 World Cup coach Rahul Dravid says he does not want the boys to end up being just junior India cricketers

Rahul Dravid ended his glorious cricket career without getting his hands on the World Cup during his over 17-year international career.

True blue: India's under-19 coach Rahul Dravid addresses the media with captain Ishan Kishan to his right, on the eve of the team's departure to Bangladesh at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble
True blue: India's under-19 coach Rahul Dravid addresses the media with captain Ishan Kishan to his right, on the eve of the team's departure to Bangladesh at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble

Is he itching to win a World Cup as coach, Dravid's reply was a straight no. "The beauty of being a coach is woh mere haath mein nahin hain (It is not in my hands). I am not really going into this (tournament) if we win it or if we lose it… I know the role of a coach. And I know how much a coach can influence and impact a result. I am realistic about that. So, it is in their (players) hands. It is their opportunity... their team... their World Cup. I am not trying to win the World Cup as a coach," Dravid clarified on the eve of the team's departure to Bangladesh.

Get ready for bigger test
India will play their first match against Ireland at Mirpur on January 28. Dravid said his main aim is to develop these players for bigger challenges in cricket. "I am trying to hopefully grow and develop these guys. Winning the Under-19 World Cup is honestly not the be-all and end-all of anything. In the end, I will be more happy if some of these guys go on and play for India. That should be their aim and real aspiration. It (World Cup) is just one step in their journey, hopefully as cricketers. Nobody wants to end up being just an under-19 India cricketer. That is not the aspiration of anybody in the dressing room we are sitting in," Dravid said.

Lack of matches for the U-19 players meant Dravid had to try out at least three captains in the run-up to the World Cup before settling for Ishan Kishan to lead the team. "We tried out different people in that position. After looking at all those things, we felt that Ishan is best suited to do the job. He has got a good nous for captaincy. He is a good leader in the group and he is a certainty in the playing XI," said Dravid.

Ishan, who spent some time with India skipper MS Dhoni during the Vijay Hazare Trophy, is banking on the tips given to him by his Jharkhand teammate. "He told me how to handle the team in various situations. He shared his experiences and gave me some tips. I hope it will help me in the World Cup," said Ishan.

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