Rishabh Pant, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan, Mohammed Siraj, Washington Sundar had been the unsung heroes of India’s emphatic collection-clinching win at Australia’s fortress – The Gabba. Till every week in the past, no person may have believed that these names would emerge as the match-winners. Apart from one man, maybe Dravid.
The present Nationwide Cricket Academy (NCA) head was maybe the solely man who at all times believed in the humongous expertise pool of budding cricketers in India. In spite of everything, he has labored carefully with all of these boys as the India A and U-19 coach.
Apparently, he was the one who had began the chain whereby a participant wanted to first play for India A earlier than successful a nationwide name-up. The result’s there for all to see. The likes of Siraj have gained exponentially on such A excursions.
Earlier than the decider in Brisbane, the Australian bowling assault had a mixed 1,013 wickets whereas the Indian XI had a meagre 13 wickets to their credit score (together with two of Rohit Sharma’s).
Regardless of the odds towards them, the younger brigade helped India retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy and snatched the win from the jaws of a formidable Australia outfit, the dwelling crew’s first loss at their den in 32 years and two months.
Famously hailed as ‘The Wall’ Dravid wants no introduction. His heroics and information on the area are stuff of cricketing folklore. He retired from worldwide cricket with an illustrious file of 24,208 runs, together with 48 centuries, and is the solely participant in the historical past of cricket to be concerned in two 300-plus ODI partnerships.
These credentials are sufficient for any retired cricketer to attain a plushy comfy job. However the former Indian skipper selected the street much less taken. He determined to educate the junior sides (India Beneath-19 and India A). Round the finish of his worldwide profession, he was already in a captain-cum-coach position with Rajasthan Royals.
Beneath his teaching, the U-19 crew was runners-up at the 2016 World Cup and emerged victorious at the 2018 World Cup. Nonetheless, it is not the file books which can be the driving power for India’s Mr. Reliable. The 2016 WC noticed gamers like Pant emerge whereas the 2018 version noticed India’s new heartthrob Shubman Gill rise in stature.
Gill’s unbeaten 102 towards arch-rivals Pakistan in the semi-last was the first time when the world took word of the opener. On Tuesday, he stamped his authority even on the worldwide stage with a match-successful 91.
Going towards the conventional method, Dravid fuelled in new refreshing vitality and mindset in younger gamers. It was not about successful or shedding matches. There was a brand new sheriff on the town, and the guidelines of the recreation needed to change!
Each participant was to play an equal quantity of matches past which they had been inspired to play home first-class cricket. Coach Dravid saved the boys on their toes and believed in giving extra possibilities to newcomers. He had as soon as mentioned if he continued retaining wickets as a result of it was handy, India would have by no means bought MS Dhoni!
In the Dravid period, the gamers had been constantly put below difficult conditions, some would say their preparation was at par with India’s senior squad. Be it Pakistan or Bangladesh, the scale of preparation remained as rigorous.
The motive was clear. The previous skipper wasn’t grooming the gamers to attain quick runs, scalp wickets, and transfer on. He was strengthening the basis of the sport in the nation, making a stronger base that was to make Indian cricket richer in the years to return.
The seeds he sowed bloomed right into a jubilant triumph for India Down Beneath. After Virat Kohli left as his spouse Anushka Sharma was anticipating their first little one, the bruised and battered Indian outfit fell into the lap of Ajinkya Rahane. With an exception of Chesteshwar Pujara, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravinder Jadeja, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah, prima facie most of the gamers had been inexperienced and uncooked.
No person of their proper thoughts would have positioned a wager on India’s possibilities of retaining the trophy not to mention win the collection towards an Aussie outfit which had a harmful line-up of world-class gamers.
However the younger brigade had paid consideration when coach Dravid taught them: “There are alternatives to be taught, and reminiscences to make.”
The final time a visiting crew emerged victorious at the Gabba was again in November 1988 when the mighty West Indian outfit led by Viv Richards crushed Allan Border’s Australia by 9 wickets. 32 years and two months later, Rahane’s harm-ravaged younger crew endured each ache, bruise, racial abuse and created historical past which they, maybe, by no means set out for.
In hindsight, Dravid’s aware effort to not deal with people and mildew the potential of every particular person in his squad has seen younger gamers compete with any world-class participant when the state of affairs requires it.
India’s 2020-21 tour of Australia is a basic instance of it. In the absence of phenomenal gamers corresponding to Jadeja, Vihari, Ashwin, Bumrah on account of accidents, the children channelled their fiery ardour below immense strain. They may have simply focussed on guaranteeing a draw, however the children ensured that they might not name it a day until the final man stood.
This tour has given the world a glimpse of the depth in the nationwide squad due to the efforts of the ever-humble Dravid, who understands the significance of placing gamers constantly below tough conditions whereas they’re in junior groups. It’s to the credit score of the frequency of ‘A excursions’ India went on in the previous few years, that made all the distinction in the decider at the Brisbane Cricket Floor.
Like the coach himself had as soon as mentioned, “Expertise is just not taking part in extra matches, the expertise is studying from the matches you play. You may play 30 matches and in the event you do not be taught something, it is like taking part in the similar match 30 instances.”
He understands the significance of honing the gamers whereas they’re younger. He is not only churning out good cricketers, however maybe higher individuals who can face up to any adversity which can come their means. And one does not should look past Gabba to grasp that!
Dravid’s selfless service for the nation could be inscribed in golden phrases in the historical past of Indian cricket. He’s, undoubtedly, the greatest ending college a budding cricketer may go to!