Former Sri Lankan captain Aravinda de Silva hailed Rahul Dravid for doing a remarkable job with the Indian youngsters by grooming them for international cricket. The BCCI has given the coaching duties ahead of the upcoming Sri Lanka tour, where the selectors have handed opportunities to several youngsters. Aravinda de Silva reckons that Dravid has laid a strong foundation for the youngsters.
Rahul Dravid has been one of the masterminds behind Indian cricket’s recent rise in the fraternity. The 164-Test veteran who serves as the head coach of the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore has been responsible for the development of several youngsters. With Ravi Shastri set to be in England with the first-choice players for the five-Test series, Dravid will coach the 20-man squad with a handful of uncapped players in Sri Lanka.
Aravinda de Silva observed that U-19 is the starting point and a strong foundation from there, makes it easier for the players to progress. The former Sri Lankan selector believes that it is where cricketers learn the required discipline and strategy-related matters. Hence, De Silva underlined that if someone like Rahul Dravid builds it, players are bound to succeed. Thus, he believes having a coach like the former Indian captain indeed helps the youngsters.
“The U-19 stage is where the foundation is. And if you lay the foundation right, it becomes so much easier to progress from thereon because that’s where I feel you’ll be able to learn about the necessary discipline, knowledge and strategy and related matters. So once you have the foundation laid by someone like Rahul, who’s himself a very disciplined individual, the right kind of knowledge and discipline required at that young age will be enforced. And of course, it’s important for them to have someone who has been their hero as their coach. That really helps these guys to progress and build their careers from thereon,” De Silva told The Telegraph.
I’ve been trying to convince Mahela to take charge of our U-19 team for a long time: Aravinda de Silva
Aravinda de Silva further claimed that India’s fortunes have turned around, with Rahul Dravid as the U-19 coach. The 55-year old expressed regrets at not being able to convince Mahela Jayawardene in taking the same role in Sri Lanka cricket circles.
“When Rahul was appointed as the U-19 coach, I felt India did a great job. I’ve been trying to convince Mahela to take charge of our U-19 team for a long time, but I was not so successful in doing so,” he added.