Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq appreciates Rahul Dravid for shaping the youngsters at such a level. India defeated Australia 2-1 in one of the greatest ever Test series. Many players played a crucial role in India’s victory over Australia. In the absence of Virat Kohli and many big players injured, youngsters grabbed the opportunities from both hands and broke Australia’s 32 years undefeated streak at Gabba, Brisbane.
On this tour, in the last Test match at Gabba, India was without Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammad Shami, and Umesh Yadav. All five main bowlers of India were injured. The youngsters Mohammad Siraj, T Natarajan, Shardul Thakur, and Washington Sundar got the opportunity to play the final Test match. The way these youngsters performed got appreciation from all over the world including Australian coach Justin Langer. The neighboring country is also not behind in appreciating young talents.
Rahul Dravid who is currently National Cricket Academy (NCA) Chief, spent four years coaching Under 19 sides between 2016 and 2019 and India A. Under Rahul Dravid’s coaching, both teams reached the heights. Under 19 team won the World Cup in 2018.
Inzamam-ul-Haq praised Rahul Dravid for his outstanding coaching and creating new youngsters for Indian cricket. He highlighted that his biggest strength was making the players mentally tough, without which winning the series in Australia would not have been possible. Inzamam told in his YouTube channel,
“Winning a series in Australia is the toughest of them all. I have never seen in my life a team as young as this Indian team to beat Australia on their soil. I was wondering what led to this and I realized that Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar had played Under 19 World Cup in 2016.”
“Then Shubman Gill and [Prithvi] Shaw played the 2018 Under-19 World Cup. The likes of Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Hanuma Vihari, and Mayank Agarwal have lately played a lot of cricket for India A.”
“This journey from Under 19 to India A and from India A to the national team, I realized that they guys improved their base through none other than Rahul Dravid. Dravid’s strength… the reason why he was called The Wall is because he had a strong defense. He could play in every condition, was mentally so strong that he could adjust himself in any position. Dravid worked with these players to make them mentally tough.”
India lost the first Test match in Adelaide. It was a humiliating loss for India, as the team was 36 all out in the second innings. Making a comeback after such a devastating loss is remarkable. Inzamam praised Shubham Gill, Rishabh Pant, Mohammad Siraj for their splendid performances. He also appreciates Washington Sundar, making his Test debut, and Shardul Thakur in his second Test for their all-round performance. Inzamam believes all this is because of Rahul Dravid’s training to such promising youngsters.
“After losing the first Test and Virat going back, to win the Melbourne Test and taking it to the decider without four of your main players who were injured, I think it was all Dravid’s doing. More than technique, he tried to make them The Wall as well, who could play in every condition. Dravid trained them, which these players have benefitted from.”
We all agree with Inzamam-ul-Haq on this. Rahul Dravid is the face behind the splendid performances from the young Indian team. Thank you Rahul Dravid for creating such a strong bench strength for Indian cricket.