Ajinkya Rahane admitted Rahul Dravid’s contribution played a huge role in India’s Test series win in Australia. The 32-year India vice-captain who assumed captaincy when Virat Kohli was on paternity leave in the successful Test tour in Australia explained how the former cricketer helps India’s youngsters, also shedding light on the role he plays at the NCA.
Ajinkya Rahane: Rahul Dravid’s Role Was Massive As He Helps Youngsters For Evolving Into Better Cricketers
Critics have pointed out to Rahul Dravid’s concerted efforts while mentoring India’s next crop of cricketers. Rahul Dravid’s time with the Under-19 team, India A and now with the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru has created a pool of youngsters for India to choose from, which proved to be a crucial part of their victory. In an interview with the Indian Express, Ajinkya Rahane explained why Rahul Dravid deserves credit for India’s Test series win.
“I think Rahul bhai’s role was massive. We used to go to NCA before lockdown and if a guy like Rahul Dravid is there, you learn something every day.”
Numerous cricketers played under Rahul Dravid when he was U-19 or India A coach. The likes of Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj were some of them, and the trio’s efforts stood out throughout the Test series in Australia. Ajinkya Rahane also expounded how Rahul Dravid’s mentorship has helped players like Navdeep Saini and Mayank Agarwal evolve into better cricketers.
“Rahul bhai plays a very big role. He was with the Under-19 team, then he was with India A, and now he is with the National Cricket Academy. (The system) has helped Mohammed Siraj, Saini. They have been on their toes and they did so well. Shubman Gill also, Mayank Agarwal. Before joining international cricket, he did so many tours with India A, got runs at the domestic level.”
Shubman Gill, who made his Test debut in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne last year, scored 259 runs in 3 games against Australia at an average of 51.80. Mohammed Siraj, the 26-year-old pacer signed off the series as the highest wicket-taker for his team India, claiming 13 wickets in 3 Tests, including one five-wicket haul. Hanuma Vihari, braving a hamstring tear, played a key role in helping India draw the 3rd Test in Sydney.
Ajinkya Rahane Talks Over Phone And Exchange Messages With Rahul Dravid
Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Dravid share a close bond. Many cricket experts have pointed out the similarities between the duo. Apart from being technically brilliant while batting, the duo is also similar in their calm approach on the field. Admitting he frequently messages and talks over the phone with veteran Rahul Dravid, Ajinkya Rahane shared that the Indian legend congratulated him during the Australia tour after 4th Brisbane Test.
“We talk over the phone, exchange messages. He messaged me after the Melbourne match and immediately after the Brisbane match, saying how proud he was of the team.”
Batting legend Rahul Dravid is the perfect person to head the NCA as his guidance helped the India under-19, India A and women’s teams. Rahul Dravid is currently head of NCA and previously India U-19 and India A coach. Rahul Dravid is one of the few cricketers to score 10,000 runs both in ODI and Test cricket with 36 Test and 12 ODI tons besides his name. He played 164 tests and 344 ODIs.