All credit goes to the boys, says U-19 coach Dravid

After successfully clinching the ICC U-19 World Cup for a record fourth time, coach Rahul Dravid have full credit to his players and lauded them for their efforts.

Coach Rahul Dravid said the boys dealt with pressure situations really well and displayed a great level of maturity to win the ICC U-19 World Cup.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

In a media interaction following the return of the victorious Indian U-19 team, coach Rahul Dravid and captain Prithvi Shaw delved into their experiences from the tournament.

On the process that led to lifting the WC trophy:

The real satisfaction was that the process was followed over 14-16 months. The entire preparation and planning was not just for the World Cup but for developing young U-19 players over 14-15 months. We have a good process in place and got to keep refining and improving it.

READ: Ton-up Kalra powers India to fourth U-19 World Cup title

I'm really happy that these 15 boys got to wear a World Cup medal and hold the title, they thoroughly deserve it and put in a lot of hardwork.

They gelled really well and the quality of cricket they put up was brilliant even under pressure circumstances.

The support staff also did brilliant work. The selectors, NCA and BCCI also helped a lot. The win reflects a lot of teamwork.

On whether today's generation has a better understanding of the game:

We can't even compare generations. When I played U-19, we played just one series against a visiting New Zealand side while these boys play an incomparable quality of cricket. The kind of support staff and help that they receive is unbelievable.

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Things have changed and this generation is extremely fit and aggressive and has a positive brand of cricket.

Prithvi Shaw on how it felt to captain the side

It's a different feeling and I'm proud to represent India. We had a set plan for the World Cup and we executed it well. We put in a lot of practice and the support staff helped us a lot.

I want to thank the BCCI and the selectors for trusting me and giving me this opportunity to captain the side.

Dravid on the players' transition to the senior team:

The great thing about the World Cup is that the boys had so many experiences. It would hold good for a lifetime. I don't think we played our best game in the final but we got the result we needed.

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The fact that they played a final is itself an experience. The warm reception at Mumbai airport today is another experience. I'm glad they had the opportunity to have this experience.

The challenges start from here. India had faced Australia in the 2012 final also and six years down, only one Indian and five Australians have played for the senior team. The talent and ability is there and they need to deal with the pressure and expectations hereon.

A lot may not go on to play for India, but they should aim to have successful first-class careers.

On whether the players should continue playing age-grade tournaments

I feel that once they're good enough, they need to play men's cricket. Even if they have a couple of tough years and fail, they'll be better off playing there. That's my opinion.

On the strategy for the game against Pakistan:

We didn't treat the game any different. We didn't focus on our opponent. Our preparation for the match remained the same. The boys knew that more people watch these games and it was a good experience for them. We didn't get to play Pakistan in the Asia cup and this was a great opportunity.

ALSO READ: Team always backed me under pressure, says Prithvi Shaw

Our boys handled the match really well and the quality and the intensity they showed on the field was great.  They handled pressure very well.

On the difference in challenges in coaching the India A and u-19 sides:

Both teams are great fun to work with and they are at different stages of their career. In the U-19 level you have to intervene a little more because they expect that from you. Coaching the U-19 team involves the buildup and planning to a tournament.

Both roles are slightly different but are equally challenging and I enjoy both.

On his concerns over social media usage and the IPL auctions:

We had some loose curfews and sometimes they'd break it but its okay, they're teenagers. What impressed me was the level of maturity that they have and the confidence that these players have.

Social media brings its own level of challenges and scrutiny. There were times when I had to tell them to not pay attention to the IPL auctions. They accepted the fact they would not follow the IPL auction. I was worried only on those 2-3 days.



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