Rahul Dravid, the wall, carries an image of a straight forward man. It appears that this approach commensurates with his style of playing with a straight bat. So it has become a principle in his life. Certainly this open hearted straight approach reflects whenever he speaks. Bangalore Mirror is currently running a story wherein Dravid has shared his opinion on the various issues. Clarifying his stand on choosing India –A and U-19 assignment instead of Team India job, he said, “I was never worried about what was being reported. The reports of reluctance are obviously not true. I have been in conversation with the board for the last couple of weeks. This is something I — and the board — have felt is the best way to utilize my experience. It also fits into where I am in my career and life.”
On the speculations running around that he was uncomfortable with a few of his former teammates, who are now on the BCCI’s advisory committee of the BCCI, Dravid said, “I’ve nothing more to say on this. It is going to be exciting to work with the next generation of players. I am looking forward to spending time with them.”
Elaborating the million dollar question that why India A and the U-19 team and why not India? “The answer is simple,” he described. “I thought at this stage of my life it is more exciting to work with an under-19 team. Like I said, this gives me the best possible opportunity to be able to work as a coach and work out a timeframe and schedule of the young players’ careers.”
Dravid also admitted that this particular assignment suits his personal life more as this does not require extensive tours, something the India job necessarily warrants. But he clarified instantly, “But that is not the only reason why I accepted this job. The more important reason is that I am kicked up about it. Working hands-on and working with the young players gives me more pleasure.”
When asked whether he has kept the option open of coaching the Indian team in future? He simply stated, “I’m not looking at the Indian team. I am not thinking of anything other than this at the moment”.
Perhaps this happens to be the most favorite part of the conversation on account of Dravid as when the session reached at a point that what he can do for the side, Dravid threw his heart open based on his own personal experience and said. “The targets at India A and India U-19 levels are obvious,” he pointed out. “It is really about helping the young boys to go to the next level. I want to help them in their journey. It is a crucial time for a cricketer because you are always in national contention. Everyone looks at the possibility of playing for India. It can also be a tricky time in one’s life and career. There is a lot of competition. I have been there myself. I want to help these players on and off the field.”
In any case, millions of his fans fully support his decision to nourish the younger generation who in turn will form a strong bench strength for the Team India. Also, his implacable and immaculate track record of developing veteran Praveen Amre to Sanju Samson speaks volume about the capability of Dravid to groom cricketers in a fairly easy manner. He will fit in the role of a big brother rather than a mentor. Finally, we have got a role model for youngsters who can guide them to excellence.