Rahul Dravid: Did not enter Pakistan dressing room
India won the 2018 U19 World Cup and the man behind the boys who excelled at New Zealand was none other than coach Rahul Dravid. As the team landed in Mumbai, the skipper and coach addressed the media on Monday. With questions ranging from how the journey was, to what the future of these boys will look like, all were answered by the former Indian skipper.
During the press conference, a question about his visit to the Pakistan dressing room after India's semi-final win emerged, to which Dravid corrected a reporter who had based his question on the comments of Nadeem Khan, Pakistan U19 team manager. Nadeem Khan had earlier said that Dravid visited the Pakistan dressing room to boost the morale of the team after the crushing loss. He said, “It was a very nice gesture only confirming Dravid’s stature in our eyes.” However, Dravid clarified saying he did not visit the Pakistan dressing room. The 45-year-old in fact mentioned that the Pakistani team management was impressed with the talented Indian side and that there is no connection whatsoever.
"I did not go into their dressing room. They had a talented left-arm fast bowler and I thought, he bowled really well in the tournament. So, I just congratulated him. I met him outside their dressing room and said, well done in the tournament. It's nice. As a coach, it is exciting to see a good talent. We had some great talent and they were very appreciative of our cricketers as well. Their coaches mentioned to me so many times that the standard of cricket we have seen your guys play is a benchmark for a lot of us. They were very effusive in their praise and I also acknowledged the fact that they had some very good talent as well," Dravid said.
Talking about the series, Dravid said that the most satisfying part of the campaign was the process of reaching the top. "The real satisfaction, in my opinion, is the process that was followed over the last 14-16 months, the whole planning and preparation that has gone into, not necessarily for this World Cup, but for developing the U-19 players," he said. "It was great teamwork, guys behind the scenes, the selectors, NCA, the BCCI setting up games and series. Winning a tournament like this is a good reflection of the teamwork," added Dravid.