India U-19s coach Dravid explains rationale behind rotation policy

India Under-19s coach Rahul Dravid, in consultation with the selectors and support staff, tried out 26 young cricketers, 21 of whom featured in the international ties against England Under-19s.

RahulDravid

Rahul Dravid..."We believe that any XI we put on the park should be able to win or should be able to play good cricket."   -  PTI

In the six games against England Under-19s, a warm-up game followed by five Youth ODIs, over the last fortnight, India Under-19s coach Rahul Dravid, in consultation with the selectors and support staff, tried out 26 young cricketers, 21 of whom featured in the international ties.

Dravid, who has always stressed on the importance of Under-19 cricket as a stepping stone towards shaping careers and learning life skills, explained that it was a conscious call to try out as many youngsters possible in the build-up to the next year’s U-19 World Cup.

> Read: India Under-19s clinch series 3-1 after final match is tied

As a result, even a performer like Shubman Gill, who scored successive hundreds in the last two games, had to sit out of Wednesday’s last game. How does Dravid make the kids understand to make way for others?

“I think while you try and explain to them the concept of a squad and the fact we are a squad and it is not about individuals but it is about everyone in the team and we believe that any XI we put on the park should be able to win or should be able to play good cricket. It is really about their development and their growth as players. That’s the whole thing,” Dravid said.

“I think they understand that. The worst thing that can happen to them at this age level is that they come on a tour and they don’t get to play any cricket. I think that can be the most demoralising thing. So there is an effort made to get a lot more people involved, get a lot more boys involved.”

Having tried out more than 40 players in the last month’s Youth Asia Cup and the one-dayers’ leg who will be eligible for next year’s World Cup, the India Under-19 squad for the two four-day games in Nagpur will now feature 15 new players.

“We thought the Asia Cup and this one-day series as one to build for the World Cup. And saw the four-day games as an opportunity to those boys (who won’t be eligible for the World Cup) as an opportunity to play for India Under-19s,” Dravid said. “It’s a big thing for them and they are all performers, they have done well and that’s why they are here. Something the selectors really wanted to reward and I am really glad that there will be fifteen new boys in Nagpur and hopefully we will try and give them a game at least.”

'Nice option'

After playing a promising innings during the warm-up game against England Under-19, S. Radhakrishnan had returned to hitting the nets in his hometown Chennai. But with the series having sealed in the fourth game, the India team management thought of asking Radhakrishnan to be tried out in a Youth ODI.

A day after joining the squad, Radhakrishnan emerged as India’s highest scorer in the tied match. Dravid was quite impressed with the youngster. “It was nice to see someone like Radhakrishnan, who was not involved in our team, we got him here [on Tuesday] and he came in and played beautifully and got a nice 65, so that gives us a nice option, we have seen another kid who can play,” Dravid said.

“If we hadn’t done that we wouldn’t have known anything about Radhakrishnan and he would be back in Chennai or something like that. So now we have seen another kid and that gives us more options going ahead and that is always nice.”



Stats

21

Players tried out by India Under-19s in the five Youth ODIs. England tried out all the 15 members of the squad.

351

Runs tallied by India U-19 opener Shubman Gill, the most in the series. Gill scored successive hundreds in the third and fourth games before being rested for the last.

10

Wickets earned by England U-19 medium-pacer Henry Brookes. He was the highest wicket-taker of the series.

275 and 8

Runs scored and dismissals effected by England U-19 all-rounder Delray Rawlins. The all-rounder incidentally has already played international cricket for Bermuda, a British island, before making his England youth debut in the series.

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