BENGALURU: Much like he wielded the bat, there is solidity in Rahul Dravid’s reasoning and speech. As an international cricketer, he may have walked into the sunset some three-and-half years ago, but he continues to contribute to the sport in his role as the `young’ coach of India A.
Ask him about the role he accepted in June this year and the challenges that come with it, and the former India skipper is quick to point out that he is inexperienced as a coach and that learning is a two-way process with the team.
As India A begin their three-match one-day series against Bangladesh A on Wednesday , the 42-year-old held forth on his team and its aspirations.
On mentoring youngsters:
Coaching at the India A level is not about teaching technique. They don’t reach this level without having basic technique, skill and ability.
Talking to them, sharing some of the experiences and sharing some knowledge is what matters. There is a lot to learn for me as well. I’m inexperienced as a coach; I’m learning everyday . It’s been a great experience working with a lot of the younger players. I’m benefitting as much as they are.
Experience with India A:
The first two months have been good. I’ve had a chance to take a look at the young talent in India. There’s good talent. They need experience; they need to play more matches. Matches like these, against good teams like Bangladesh will do them good. Performing well here is good for their cause and the cause of Indian cricket.
On seniors in the squad interacting with youngsters:
We encourage it a lot. We definitely mention it. I speak about the value and the opportunity for a lot of younger players to play with the likes of a Suresh Raina or a Shikhar Dhawan. It’s a great opportunity to pick their brains, even if it’s in an informal setting. Conversely, it’s an opportunity for the experienced players as well to have a look at the young talent coming through, who are the younger players and how they play. It works both ways. We do encourage it. It’s something I mentioned when the team assembled.
On the players’ mindset:
Actually you are in the midst of a key series. A lot of them are here only for a week. They have three matches and they have to really impress the selectors. It’s not the time to be making technical changes; it’s all about performances. I try to create an environment which gives them the best chance to perform now. Hopefully some of them will perform and get selected to the Indian team. From the last India A series, Naman Ojha and Karun Nair got selected. It’s terrific for a lot of these boys. They know now that if they perform well, they could get selected to the national team.