Mumbai,Taus Rizvi: Rahul Dravid’s appointment as coach of the India A and India U-19 teams has come as a pleasant surprise to Indian cricket fans.
The move by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is being praised. It follows appointment of legends — Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman — to board’s cricket advisory panel, which met for the first time in Kolkata on Saturday.
The former India captain Dravid, who played 164 Tests and 344 ODIs, was known to be a team man, a disciplinarian, a man of sporting values during his playing days. A true gentleman cricketer, he did all that his team would ask for, even donning the wicket-keeping gloves in ODIs or shifting in the batting order.
As a mentor for Rajasthan Royals, the Karnataka batsman helped the team make big gains this might have been the reason for him getting the not-so-high-profile but an important job with the India A and India U-19 teams.
Former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar said he is happy that Dravid has been handed over the reigns of the junior teams.
“Dravid has always been a studious cricketer with good ethics. He will inculcate these important traits in the 18- and 19-years-olds. At such a young age, they can get distracted. So, Dravid will bring in discipline and focus and I am sure it will help Indian cricket,” said Vengsarkar.
Vengsarkar said Dravid’s work ethics will rub off on the youngsters. “He has tremendous experience at the highest class of cricket. He has been a man of stature and that will help his studious character rub off on the youngsters.”
Vengsarkar said that the coaching theese times deals more with the psychological side. “It will be basically about mental aspect of the players. The skill level of the players picked are very good, so they need guidance concerning the mental aspect. How to prepare for a match, build an innings, how to plan etc,” he said.
Rajasthan Royals coach Monty Desai, who has worked closely with Dravid, said it’s a move that will benefit Indian cricket a lot.
“Dravid creates a healthy environment. He goes out of his way to help people facing challenges and talks to them, helps them find a solution,” said Desai.
Desai said Dravid brings a certain kind of calmness to the team. “Dravid is a great example of how to live life. He displays calmness both on and off the field and balances it quite well. Our youngsters need a road map, he will teach them not just to manage their careers but also their lifestyle off the field,” said Desai.
“He is frank and understands different conditions well. In certain situations, like we had three years back (when spot-fixing scandal surfaced), he would come and spend time with the team. He would teach the kids basic stuff like how it is not good to stay awake till late in the night. He would make them aware, talk and walk them through the whole scenario,” he added.
Not just that, Desai said Dravid is someone who takes personal interest in coaching. “He would give the players throwdowns if he needed or catching practise. He is a go to man for everything. He is a combination of a lot of things. A thinker, who brings in lot of calmness,” said Desai.