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Aravinda De Silva praise for Rahul Dravid’s U-19 role

The Shikhar Dhawan-led Indian team will play three ODIs and as many T20Is versus hosts Sri Lanka in Colombo starting July 13
Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid
File picture

Sayak Banerjee   |   Calcutta   |   Published 09.07.21, 01:37 AM

Indian cricket has enormously benefited from having Rahul Dravid as the U-19 coach, believes Aravinda De Silva.

Dravid, head coach of the Shikhar Dhawan-led Indian team that will play three ODIs and as many T20Is versus hosts Sri Lanka in Colombo starting July 13, helps in bringing about “discipline and knowledge” along with the necessary “soft skills” which help youngsters become a finished product when they step on to the biggest stage, the Sri Lankan legend and former captain emphasised.

Being the chairman of the SLC cricket committee, De Silva was also disappointed with Mahela Jayawardene not taking charge of the Sri Lanka U-19 side when he had tried to convince the Mumbai Indians head coach into taking up the role some time ago.

“When Rahul was appointed as the U-19 coach, I felt India did a great job. I’ve been trying to convince Mahela to take charge of our U-19 team for a long time, but I was not so successful in doing so,” De Silva told select media during an interaction facilitated by Sony.

“The U-19 stage is where the foundation is. And if you lay the foundation right, it becomes so much easier to progress from thereon because that’s where I feel you’ll be able to learn about the necessary discipline, knowledge and strategy and related matters.

“So once you have the foundation laid by someone like Rahul, who’s himself a very disciplined individual, the right kind of knowledge and discipline required at that young age will be enforced. And of course, it’s important for them to have someone who has been their hero as their coach. That really helps these guys to progress and build their careers from thereon.”

Talking about Sri Lankan cricket, De Silva clearly said he doesn’t support senior pro Angelo Mathews’s decision to pull out of the series apparently because the former skipper wasn’t given a central contract by the Sri Lankan board.

“There aren’t many years left in terms of Angelo’s future, but he could still offer a lot of things to Sri Lankan cricket, and could’ve shown his spirit and character if he had handled the situation in a manly way rather than in this manner,” De Silva commented.

De Silva is not at all on the same page with Arjuna Ranatunga regarding the visiting Indian side being “second-string.” “Personally, I think any side could make a change and play exciting cricket.

“India has enormous amount of talent going around at the moment. And no way can you call any side second string.

“If you look at the at the situation worldwide, there’s rotation happening. Besides, being in the bubble is very challenging, especially for the youngsters.

“So I guess this method (sending separate teams simultaneously in two different tours) might be something for the future,” De Silva signed off.

n 1st ODI on July 13 live on Sony Ten 1 & Sony Six in English & Sony Ten 3 in Hindi from 2.30pm (IST)

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