Toiling under the hot sun on a Monday afternoon, India U-19 coach Rahul Dravid was deeply engrossed monitoring his wards at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Toiling under the hot sun on a Monday afternoon, India U-19 coach Rahul Dravid was deeply engrossed monitoring his wards at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. Keeping an eagle eye on the preparations ahead of the upcoming ICC U-19 World Cup starting January 22 in Bangladesh, the former India Test skipper quietly turned 43. After a week-long camp that concluded on Monday, the legendary cricketer spoke to this newspaper on the preparations for the biennial event. Excerpts:
Q How is it like working on your birthday (chuckles) The whole day you’re working and it’s not very special for me. It’s a quiet day with the family and don’t want too much of a fuss actually. Q. How has the preparation been for the last week with the World Cup in mind It was good. We got what we needed. We did an outbound activity which is needed. It’s just another process of leading into another sort and part of our preparations for the World Cup. We are happy with what we got here. We have couple of days off and then we are playing a few games in Mumbai. We are looking forward to the three games against the Board President’s XI. Q. How tough will it be at the World Cup All the teams are good. But we are confident and hope for a good performance. But if you look at other teams, they are also very good. In these kinds of big tournaments, we need to play really well. If you make two or three mistakes, it might cost you. There are three matches in the league and then you qualify for the knockout stage. So it’s not that easy to win but we are high on confidence.
Q. What is challenging, playing or coaching I think both are different. I don’t think I can compare them. Obviously playing got its own challenges and coaching has its own challenges. I really enjoy(ed) both. I loved playing for India and I love playing cricket really. And I’m enjoying this as well. Q. You had three different captains in the buildup and why was Ishan Kishan named skipper for the World Cup The good thing is that there are quite a few leaders in the group. I thought Ishan (Kishan) had control over the team in the sense he was tactically good in the field. I think he has good control, good idea and good tactic as he has captained at the junior level. So, we decided to go with Ishan. Q. Are the players in the U-19 setup aggressive I think it’s about performances and not so much about aggression. I’m really into a belief that each one has to bring his personality to the field. We have characters in our team who are more aggressive than the others. But that doesn’t mean that the guys are outwardly aggressive but actually they are aggressive cricketers internally. So it really doesn’t matter whether you are aggressive outwardly or internally but what’s more important is that how you perform and what you (do) under pressure which I think is more important. Q. What is the team combination like Q The team is very good, there is no doubt about it especially with a lot of all-rounders in the spin department. If every one of them performs then we should do well. We have a good combination so we are confident. But in the end it’s really down to execution. You can really have a good team on paper but you have to execute it in the middle.