Rahul Dravid warns India U19 team: “Tough part starts now”

Now that the ICC U19 World Cup is done and won, coach Rahul Dravid has urged his successful bunch of boys to look towards the future and not bask in the glory of their achievements for too long. The former India captain, who has been coach of the colts for the last two years, hoped that the India U19 players will be fine-tuned for a higher level of cricket.

After India’s eight-wicket win over former champions Australia at Bay Oval in New Zealand, Rahul Dravid said, as reported by mid-day, “There were conversations we’ve already had. Hopefully, they [the boys] would have enjoyed this; would have learnt from it. They’ll reflect on these last six weeks, 14 months and they will take those learnings into first-class cricket.”

While Rahul Dravid was expectedly overjoyed at India’s win at the U19 World Cup, he also urged his players to take up new challenges and achieve greater milestones.

“The highlight should come when they lift a big trophy for India or the Ranji Trophy for their state teams. Those should be the highlights. This win should be a stepping stone — something that’s a great memory, great friendships which they will cherish – but the tough part starts now,” Rahul Dravid stated.

For coach Rahul Dravid and the India U19 team, the World Cup signalled an end of special bonds with few of the players and the legendary batsman himself admitted to being a bit emotional. He said,

“Though they’ll stay in touch, it is not the same thing. For their own sake, we will try and get them to connect and get together as much as possible.”

“I hope to see some of them on the ‘A’ tours. Some might stay back and play more under-19 cricket. They are a bit young and would benefit from it, but some of them who are eligible for even the next World Cup should move on and play Ranji Trophy instead,” Rahul Dravid concluded.


READ: India U19 pacer Ishan Porel played with injured foot in U19 World Cup final.