He is the prime force behind the feeder-line created for the senior national cricket team and India A and U-19 chief coach Rahul Dravid, on Sunday, lauded Test captain Virat Kohli and chief coach Anil Kumble for creating an environment where youngsters are feeling comfortable.
Dravid believes that success of Karun Nair and Jayant Yadav, who are products of the A team, is purely because of the “process” that has been put in place.
“It’s great to see these young boys coming through the ‘A’ team set-up and from domestic performances. It is a tribute to I think the environment created in the national set-up that they are coming through feeling comfortable and performing straightaway. Credit to Virat and Anil for the set-up and what they have been doing at the national level. So we are seeing the results, nice to be a part of that process,” Dravid said on Sunday.
Dravid, who has seen Karun Nair in the ‘A’ team, Delhi Daredevils as well as Rajasthan Royals, is proud of his wards’ success. “It’s fantastic. Incredible to score his first (Test) hundred and then go onto score a triple hundred. I think it not only speaks volumes about his ability but also his hunger and desire. That’s really important. It’s good and I am happy for Indian cricket and it is always good to see young people coming through. He can hopefully go on and build on from here. He has got the ability. Great to see guys like Karun, Rahul and Jayant, come along in this tour. Hardik Pandya got an opportunity from A tour but could not play as he got injured.”
Dravid said that his job is being provider of quality players for the national team rather than giving results in terms of winning and losing matches for ‘A’ or U-19 teams.
“We are always in touch with the national team as to what is the skill-set that they are looking at in the future. Try and give opportunities. If they are looking at all-rounders, we will try and play as many all-rounders as we can at the junior level to see which all-rounder can make the step-up.”
He added, “I don’t think U-19 and A team is about results. Yes, we want to get results but it is really more about giving exposure, developing young people. Coaching is not only about developing them as players but also developing them as people so that they can have meaningful careers and lives from wherever they go on from here.”
A bit pragmatically, he also said, “May be someone, who may not be that good at the U-19 level, may go onto represent India and become your future star. In a lot of ways, U-19 and A tours act as a feeding ground to national team.”