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HomeSPORTS'If you come on an A tour with me, you'll not leave...

‘If you come on an A tour with me, you’ll not leave without playing a game’: Rahul Dravid

National Cricket Academy (NCA) director Rahul Dravid said that when he was the coach of India’s Under-19 (U-19) and ‘A’ level teams, he made sure that every player on tour got a chance to play matches, whereas in his time it was not so.

The credit goes to Dravid for nurturing India’s young talent. He will now coach India’s limited overs team to tour Sri Lanka next month. Shikhar Dhawan will lead this team.

Dravid no longer goes with the India A and Under-19 teams, but it was he who started it so that every player going on tour should get a chance to play the match.

According to ESPN Cricinfo, ‘I used to tell them in advance that if you come with me on the ‘A’ team tour, then you will not leave here without playing a match. When I used to play at the junior level, I had my own experiences. It was very bad to go on ‘A’ team tour and not get a chance to play matches.

He said, ‘You do well. You score 700-800 runs. You go with the team and you don’t get a chance to show your ability there. After that you have to score those 800 runs again in the next season to grab the attention of the selectors.

Dravid said, ‘It is not easy to do this, so there is no guarantee that you will get a chance again. So you have to tell the players in the beginning that these are the best 15 players and we will play with them. Even if it’s not the best XI. At the U-19 level, we can make 5-6 changes between matches.

Dravid said that Indian cricketers are now considered to be the fittest in the world but there was a time when they did not have the necessary knowledge of fitness and were envious of the more agile Australian and South African players. Now that Dravid is the head of the National Cricket Academy, he is playing a vital role in grooming the next generation of cricketers.

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