Sridharan Sharath, who was recently appointed as the new chairman of the junior national selection committee, has decided to see the help of Rahul Dravid in determining the squad for the upcoming U-19 World Cup.
India, under Dravid, lost to Bangladesh in the finals of the previous U-19 World Cup. Sharath feels the former batsman is the right person to contact as he has been in touch with the players right from their academy days.
“I am planning to travel to Bengaluru and meet Dravid. He has been working with the kids for some time now and knows talent when he sees one. He will be our guiding light. We are planning to have a lengthy discussion with him and chalk a roadmap,” Sharath elaborated to TOI on Friday.
The cricketing action has reduced since the covid-19 pandemic hit the world. For the youngsters, practice sessions have reduced considerably. On top of that, travelling issues have also been a factor. Therefore, Sharath feels they deserve to be given some time to get adjusted.
“It will be a challenging task but we shouldn’t be in a hurry. We need to understand that the kids have not played cricket for over a year. In fact, their movements have been restricted due to Covid. So they will take time to press the restart button. As selectors, we need to give the young players the space and freedom where they find their feet again. We need to take one step at a time and remain patient,” Sharath added.
“What I want to see in a player is mental toughness” – Sridharan Sharath
The new chairman continued on how the mental fortitude of a youngster matters in these tough times. While travelling, the players will be moving from bubble-to-bubble and the fatigue will take a toll. They need to be able to get through it if they are to make the side, as per Sridharan Sharath.
“We will be watching the games with an open mind. Any player can surprise us. What I would personally want to see in a player is their mental toughness. Earlier the focus was on attitude, concentration level, and skill. Things have changed drastically after the pandemic. A player needs to remain in a bubble for a long time and it’s not going to be easy for young players. So mental strength will be the key,” Sharath added.
Sharath played for Tamil Nadu in a career that spanned over 15 years and scored 8700 runs including 27 centuries.