Former Indian skipper, Rahul Dravid has often credit for creating India’s talent pool at the under-19 and A level while coaching these teams, and he made sure that every cricketer who toured got a game, unlike his playing days. Dravid will be traveling with the Shikhar Dhawan-led Indian team as the head coach for the Sri Lanka tour for a white-ball series next month. He doesn’t travel with the A and U-19 squads anymore but he played a crucial role in all the players in the squad to play on tours.
Talking about the same in ESPNcricinfo’s “The Cricket Monthly”, Rahul Dravid said, “I tell them upfront, if you come on an A tour with me, you will not leave here without playing a game. I’ve had that personal experience myself as a kid: going on an A tour and not getting an opportunity to play is terrible. You’ve done well, you scored 700-800 runs, you go, and you don’t get a chance to show what you’re good at.”
He further added, “And then you’re back to square one from the selectors’ point of view, because the next season you have to score those 800 runs again. It is not easy to do that, so there is no guarantee you’ll get a chance again. So you tell people upfront: this is the best 15 and we are playing them. This is not about the supposed best XI. At U-19, we make five-six changes between games if we can.”
Before Rahul Dravid took over the developmental teams, there was no structure or continuity to A-team cricket in India 🏏
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) June 11, 2021
There is no denying the fact that Indian cricketers are the fittest players in the world but it wasn’t the case a few years ago. Rahul Dravid, who is currently serving as the in-charge of the National Cricket Academy, Dravid he has been producing the next generation of cricketers.
Describing the same, Rahul Dravid said, “Playing on the beach and playing on the road doesn’t make you a cricketer. It makes you someone who loves the game. That’s what we had. We had a lot of people who loved the game. Unless you give that guy a proper matting wicket or a turf wicket, unless you give him some half-decent coaching, some half-decent fitness assistance… where was all this in the 1990s and the 2000s? There was no access to it.”
He further explained, “Even in terms of fitness, we used to look at the Australians and South Africans and we used to look at their fitness trainers, and what did we get? “Don’t do too much gym, your body will become stiff. Bowl, bowl and bowl. Run rounds and laps”.”