India vs Sri Lanka: ‘It’s an opportunity for Rahul Dravid to create future champions,’ says VVS Laxman

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Dravid – who was the coach of India’s U19 and the A-side in the past – is being credited to have improved India’s bench strength and hailed by experts for helping several youngsters improve their game.

Hailing the former India captain’s contribution towards Indian cricket, Laxman said the upcoming assignment will give Dravid a chance to prove his credentials as a coach.

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Speaking exclusively on Star Sports’ show Game Plan, Laxman spoke, “I don’t think there is any pressure. This is an opportunity for Rahul Dravid to prove himself as a coach. We all know his contribution towards Indian cricket, both as a player and as someone, who has been instrumental in creating the (Team India’s) bench strength – both as India A coach and as the Director of the National Cricket Academy.”

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“I think it is an opportunity for him to create the future champions for Indian cricket. It’s not necessary, that everyone will get an opportunity to play in this tournament. But just spending time with Rahul and sharing his experiences – which he has already done with a lot of these players in the squad – will enhance their future and their growth as Indian cricketers,” the Hyderabadi cricketer added further.

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Team India, under the leadership of newly-appointed captain Shikhar Dhawan, will be playing three one-day internationals and as many T20Is.

Rahul Dravid: Coaching Team India on Sri Lanka tour is another opportunity for me to learn and improve

Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan lavished praise on Dravid and shared anecdotes from the 2007 World Cup, “It’s all about comfort. You perform much better with a coach or a captain, whom you are comfortable playing with. What Rahul Bhai brings in is – Clear communication. Even when he was the leader for the Indian cricket team, if anyone had any problem, they could just go up to him and talk about it very freely.

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I remember an incident – when we lost 2007 (ODI) World Cup – we were in West Indies – he came up to me & Mahendra Singh Dhoni and said, ‘look, I know we all are upset, let’s go for a movie. We went to a movie and then we had half an hour to ask him things. He said, yes, we lost this World Cup, we wanted to make a difference, but this is not the end of it; life is much bigger; we will come back tomorrow. That’s the kind of character he is. He is always looking to put any cricketer in a positive frame of mind. If unfortunately (in Sri Lanka), anyone goes out of form, he will be the first one to guide him and give him confidence.”

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