Dravid praises ‘model’ pacers
Rahul Dravid believes that the India pacers’ performances at the international level over the last few seasons are making them “role models” to future generations.
According to Dravid, the likes of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah are an inspiration for youngsters aspiring to be world-class pacers.
“What Ishant, Shami, Umesh (Yadav), Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) and Bumrah have been doing is, they are actually in a way becoming role models for the younger generation. The youngsters now believe they can be successful as fast bowlers in India, which I think is great for Indian cricket,” the National Cricket Academy (NCA) director, in Lucknow to observe the ongoing one-day series between the U-19 teams of India and Afghanistan as part of preparations for next year’s U-19 World Cup, said on Thursday.
“Obviously, there were people like Kapil Dev, Sri (Javagal Srinath) and Zaheer (Khan) in the past. But now, as a group, this probably is one of the best fast bowling attacks we have ever had.”
The fact that a number of young players have taken up fast bowling at the age-group level highlights the effect the Ishants and Shamis have had with their efforts, Dravid emphasised.
“Every year now in U-19 cricket, we’ve had some very good fast bowlers. Last time, (in the 2018 U-19 Cup), we had three of them in the form of Kamlesh (Nagarkoti), Shivam (Mavi) and Ishan (Porel). This year also you will see some good fast bowlers in the team,” the fomer India captain said.
Moving on to coaches and the rest of the support staff, Dravid believes IPL franchises are “missing a trick” in this regard by not involving more Indians for the job. Dravid feels Indian coaches are as good as the rest in the world and could add value as assistants too as majority of the players in the IPL franchises are Indian.
“I believe we’ve got some very good coaches, a lot of good people… I’m fully confident in their ability…Just as we have a lot of talent in the cricket department, we have a lot of talent in the coaching department. We just need to give them confidence and time to flourish. I’m sure they will do a good job.It does sometimes disappoint me when a lot of our people don’t get opportunities as assistant coaches in the IPL. There are so many Indian players in the IPL, while there’s so much of local knowledge among our coaches.I feel a lot of teams could actually benefit from using a lot of our Indian coaches in the IPL. They know the Indian players better and understand them better.Even as assistant coaches… there is a lot of talent and ability.It just needs to be given the opportunity so it can flourish. I think a lot of IPL teams miss a trick by not using more domestic talent in the coaching area and the talent identification area, even if it is as assistants. That’s my personal opinion.It’s not for me to decide for franchises and head coaches, but I think they miss a trick by not involving more Indian coaches... It’s my personal view, but I would love to see a lot of our boys get the opportunity to be in and around that environment.Hopefully, we can work with some teams to try and ensure that,” Dravid added.
As NCA director too, Dra-vid is aware of the role the academy needs to play for further development of the coaches.
“A part of our goal is to create a programme for coaches as well, so that we can give them certain skills so that they can develop further and hopefully then get the opportunities to work at a slightly higher level,” Dravid said.