India U-19 batsman Prithvi Shaw plays a leg-side shot during the second one-day international against England U-19 at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai yesterday. Pic/SURESH KARKERA
Batting great and India under-19 coach Rahul Dravid played true to form yesterday. Despite being a key reason behind the Mumbai selectors' decision to blood young Prithvi Shaw for the Ranji Trophy semi-final against Tamil Nadu recently, Dravid insisted that he cannot take credit for Shaw's emergence.
“Firstly, I can't take credit. All credit goes to the Mumbai selectors, who had the courage to play a 17-year-old boy after watching him perform in under-19 cricket. In a sense, it's really interesting. Many times, The only people who actually call me up to get an update on their players are from Mumbai. As a former India player and the coach, you want a lot of associations to call you up and ask about their players, but I only had conversations with people from Mumbai. Last year, they wanted to know about Arman (Jaffer) and Prithvi as well. So I guess it says why Mumbai are so successful,” Dravid said yesterday after India U-19 beat England U-19 in the second one day international by 129 runs at Brabourne yesterday.
Dravid praised Shaw, who scored a century on his Ranji Trophy debut at Rajkot last month, but said the young gun has to learn a lot. “He is a talented player, but he has a long way to go. He's got lot to learn. None of these are finished products. Everyone is learning along the way. He is going to have ups and downs. Even if they fail, as long as they reflect and recognise their shortcomings, it's fine. Our job is to make them aware of things they need to work on and become better players from the experience that me and the support staff. There is no magic formula for successful. It is up to them to go back and put in the work.”
India U-19: 287-8 in 50 overs (H Desai 75, H Rana 58; M Fisher 4-44) beat England U-19 158 in 33.4 overs (D Rawlins 46, H Brook 26; A Roy 3-34) by 129 runs
Fitness trainer Rajesh Sawant’s death gave India under-19 players a sleepless night
Rahul Dravid paid rich tributes to India under-19 fitness trainer Rajesh Sawant, who passed away on Sunday. “It’s shocking and sad. I did not know Rajesh very well. He had just joined the team recently. He was very excited about being part of the India U-19 set-up,” said Dravid.
“He was liked so much in Mumbai cricket. It was a tough couple of days, I have never experienced like that. Credit to these boys and I told them that to come out and play that next day was an absolute credit to them - not easy for us to come out and play that last game honestly. I don’t think many of them slept that night. I still don’t know how to react,” said Dravid.