Shastri: I am all for what's happening in NCA under Rahul Dravid

Team India coach Ravi Shastri feels youngsters should be educated on banned substances to avoid suspension that could snatch several months of competitive cricket.

India coach Ravi Shastri with Test batsman Prithvi Shaw.   -  FILE PHOTO/K.V.S. GIRI

India head coach Ravi Shastri believes that young cricketers need to be educated about banned substances which could land them in hot water with dope tests.

Last year, India international Prithvi Shaw had tested positive for Terbutaline — found in a cough syrup he had taken — during the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament. The talented opener lost eight months of competitive cricket due to the doping violation.

"I am all for that happening in the National Cricket Academy (NCA) with Rahul Dravid in charge. It is also is a requirement because in this day and age with all these dope tests and everything happening, awareness has to be created as to where you can go wrong, or where you should be very particular.

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“Just like you do it with the anti-corruption unit. Similarly, even in this you have to be very careful because today when you're not part of the team, suppose you fall sick and you take a medication, say for example, a cough syrup that has a banned substance in that could keep you out of the game for a year or two. So you know, that kind of education at a young age will be very helpful and it should come from the NCA,” Shastri told Sportstar on Thursday.

“NCA could be the best place to start off when it comes to, you know, handling the media, handling finances because at a very young age, they're exposed to money like no generation of cricket was ever exposed to. It can make your head reel very quickly,” he added.

The head coach, however, feels the current team is in good shape as it is led by the energetic and hungry Virat Kohli. “The reasons why this team has been successful is because it comes from the top. When you have a leader who's as passionate as he is in whatever format of the game he plays, and leads by example, when it comes to sheer consistency, the quality of batting that he brings to the table, you know, it is infectious, and it starts rubbing off on other players to improve the individual performance as well as, you know, the effort they put in towards the team. So I would say that he is instrumental, setting standards for everyone to emulate,” he said.

India started its first overseas tour of 2020 with a victory over New Zealand in the first T20I in Auckland on Friday.

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