Coach Rahul Dravid after India's U-19 win: Tough part starts now
Rahul Dravid wants boys to treat U-19 World Cup journey as learning experience and get ready for bigger battles
Prithvi Shaw holds the U-19 World Cup trophy with coach Rahul Dravid in Mount Maunganui on Saturday. PIC/ICC
India under-19 coach Rahul Dravid has already started to look to the future for his ICC World Cup-winning team. The former India captain, who has been coach of the colts for the last two years, hoped to fine-tune the process for a higher level of cricket. "There were conversations we've already had. Hopefully, they [the boys] would have enjoyed this; would have learnt from it. They'll reflect on these last six weeks, 14 months and they will take those learnings into first-class cricket," said Dravid after India's eight-wicket win over former champions Australia at Bay Oval here on Saturday.
New challenges ahead
While Dravid was ecstatic with the victory, he urged his players to take up new challenges and achieve greater milestones. "The highlight should come when they lift a big trophy for India or the Ranji Trophy for their state teams. Those should be the highlights. This win should be a stepping stone — something that's a great memory, great friendships which they will cherish - but the tough part starts now," he stressed.
For Dravid and the team, the World Cup ends a special bond with few of the players and the legendary batsman admitted to being a bit emotional. "Though they'll stay in touch, it is not the same thing. For their own sake, we will try and get them to connect and get together as much as possible. "I hope to see some of them on the 'A' tours. Some might stay back and play more under-19 cricket. They are a bit young and would benefit from it, but some of them who are eligible for even the next World Cup should move on and play Ranji Trophy instead," he concluded.
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