Rahul Dravid has ensured he leaves no stone unturned as the former India skipper prepares the India U-19 team for the ICC World Cup to be held in Bangladesh later this month.

The India under-19 cricket team at the boot camp in Karnataka recently
The India under-19 cricket team at the boot camp in Karnataka recently

Thinking out of the box for a team-building exercise, the U-19 coach Dravid took the youngsters for an overnight stay at Ramanagaram, the village where Bollywood blockbuster Sholay was shot in the early 1970s.

The village, situated in a hilly region of Karnataka, is just a few hours away from Bangalore where the team had a camp recently.

Dravid's initiative
Former India pacer Paras Mhambrey, who is the team's bowling coach, said the aim was to develop a strong understanding between team members.

"It was Rahul's initiative. The players are from different backgrounds and it is important to bring them together. Only then, they will perform as a team. They will be together for a very short time and it was important that they know each other well.

The whole exercise was to develop team-bonding, team spirit and a good comfort level. The activity helped a lot in making the team come together," Mhambrey told mid-day yesterday.

The team indulged in rappelling, rock climbing and climbing around 350 steps of a mountain for a sunset point.

"We also played some team games. There was plenty of leg-pulling, but also a lot of encouragement if someone had a fear of heights. It helped the boys develop confidence in each other which is very crucial for a team's success," Mhambrey concluded.

Dravid also wanted to venture out on a beach during their tour to Sri Lanka in December, but rough weather did not permit them, informed a team official.


All pictures courtesy: Devraj Raut