England and South Africa good, but India will be favourites at 2019 World Cup: Rahul Dravid

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Rahul Dravid is one of the very few Indian batsmen to have excelled and succeeded while playing in England. The batting legend played a number of memorable knocks on English shores which was instrumental in establishing him as one of the very best to have played the game.

Having retired in 2011, Dravid is now an equally successful coach as he has led the India ‘A’ and India U-19 teams with great distinction over the last couple of years. Currently, the 45-year-old is back in England with the India ‘A’ team and took some time out to speak to ‘SomersetCricket‘ while his wards were playing a four-day game against England Lions at Taunton.

In Latest Cricket News, here is the entire transcript of the exclusive Rahul Dravid interview:

Do you remember your century at Taunton in the 1999 Cricket World Cup?

“Yes I do. It was a really special day for me as it was just one of those days when you go out to bat and everything seems to click and fall into place. Just loved batting that day.. that partnership where I added more than 300 runs with Sourav Ganguly and went on to score 145 myself. Also, we needed to win that game against Sri Lanka so we ended up with the right result as well.

“The atmosphere was lovely, I had my parents over as well. And a lot of friends including my brother who had come down from India to watch. To be able to score a century and bat like that in front of family and friends is always special. The atmosphere around the ground here at Taunton was absolutely lovely. Thanks to that, I have always loved coming back here and really enjoyed walking back here as it brings back very very fond memories for me.”

What are your thoughts on the upcoming 2019 Cricket World Cup?

“I think the quality of cricket India is playing is really good. The current crop is a really talented bunch of players, good bench strength as well. You know our batting has always been strong, so to be able to see our young spinners come to the fore in white-ball cricket has been good.

“India will definitely be among the favourites. I mean there are other good teams as well. England are playing some very good cricket and Australia is always going to be competitive. South Africa as well.. New Zealand can’t be written off either. I think it is going to be a close competition but I’d back India if we can keep the form and fitness going, we’ve definitely got the quality to go all the way.”

How is Indian cricket shaping up at the moment?

“There are some really good signs, some positive vibes around Indian cricket at the moment. Specially in the white-ball game, we’ve been playing very very well and getting the results. In the red-ball game, we’re doing well and there’s no doubt about it but I’d love to see us keep improving in the longest format and getting better. Recording some serious wins abroad would be the real icing on the cake.”

Does your India A side contain stars of the future?

“I hope it does. It was nice to see a lot of the Somerset faithful come in and support the game over the last four days. I think the quality of cricket is something that the people who’ve come in and watched must have really enjoyed. From both teams I think, the quality of cricket was of a high standard.

“Hopefully these boys will go on to represent India in the near future. There are some really exciting young talents, on both sides in fact. I mean I was really impressed with some of the young West Indian players as well. They are fantastic.”

Did you enjoy playing for Kent and Scotland?

“I played a season in Scotland and really enjoyed it. Same for Kent as well. Really enjoyed my time here in England. Loved coming here as UK is a place I have always done well in. So it was a pleasure to come here and play cricket.

“And now to come in as a coach and pass on some of my experience to boys. Always a lovely tour and hopefully I keep getting the opportunity to keep coming back every summer. Not sure about the winter, but the summer definitely!”

How does it feel to be in the ICC Hall of Fame?

“It is an honour to be honest. But it is not something I dreamt of as a kid. I never started off thinking if I would one day be be counted amongst a group of people that I have actually admired and grown up watching and had some of their posters on my wall. To be a part of that group just humbles me.

“I’m grateful for the honour and it just allows me to reflect on all the opportunities that I have been privileged to have been given. The people who have supported me and enabled me to lead a life that I dreamt off as a kid. Honestly, I never thought back then that I’d be able to have a life around cricket even after so many years.”

WATCH: The Exclusive Rahul Dravid Interview

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