All excited about shaping the next generation of cricketers, newly-appointed India A and under-19 coach Rahul Dravid said he has landed the job he was always interested in and would now look to give his best to it.
“I think it is really exciting because it has been an area I have always been interested in. I feel it is a very important stage of development of a lot of cricketers, having been through myself,” Dravid told ‘ESPNcricinfo’.
“I am just hoping that having experienced being on A tours and being with an Indian Under-19 team, I will probably be able to help some of these young cricketers on their journey,” he added.
Asked if he sees this as an opportunity to strengthen his case for becoming the senior team’s coach, Dravid said that is not his aim.
“I don’t see this as any stepping stone, I just see this as an opportunity to work with young players over the next few months, six weeks of an A tour and may be six or seven weeks, with the Under-19 team. This is all I see it as,” he asserted.
“More than anything this is something that really interests me, working hands on with young talent and obviously the fact that it is not as encompassing as say a national coach’s job is. It makes it a really good fit for me,” he said.
“I have put forward what I think might be the best structure to help the A team and the Under-19 team and in the end help the player and give them the best environment and best opportunity that gives them the best chance to be able to put in performances that help their future, their careers and bring on the next generation of young Indian cricketers,” he said.
“(Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman) are going to be around. We are definitely going to dip into their vast knowledge and experiences at various stages.”
Dravid said he would not hesitate to reach out to national Team Director Ravi Shastri if it is required.
“I hope to be able to work closely with Ravi (Shastri), his support staff and the national selectors and just to find out from them what they see as the next generation of cricketers coming through.
“A lot of this is about working with people, domestic and Ranji Trophy coaches to help build the next generation of good young Indian cricketers,” he said.