Devadath Padikkal, Nitish Rana and Chetan Zakaria await their international debut in the series against Sri Lanka. These three players want to embody Rahul Dravid’s qualities as a player, person and coach during his tour of Sri Lanka. For the limited-overs series starting July 18, six such players have been placed on the Indian team awaiting their international debut. Dravid has been appointed head coach of the national cricket academy and the Test team is currently touring England. On the tour of Sri Lanka, the team will play three ODIs and many T20 internationals.
At an event on Star Sports, Padikkal recalled, “We were from the same school. The first time I met him was at our Sports Day event, I had to present Hooguch et al. It was the first time I talked to him there. The left-handed batsman is deeply impressed by Dravid’s down-to-earth character. Padikkal, a 21-year-old playing for Karnataka, said, “Since he (Dravid) is our coach, you can’t ask for anything more and you have mentors like him. It’s a great feeling and I think I’ll get a lot out of him.”
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Another left-arm batsman Rana is also keen to work with Dravid. Rana, who plays for Delhi in domestic cricket, said, “I have heard Rahul Dravid as coach and Rahul Dravid as a player.” If I can bring even one per cent of their patience, that’s a big achievement for me.
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Zacharya, a young fast bowler from Saurashtra, also wants to be as committed as Dravid. “I want to learn how committed they were when opposition teams like Australia and England dominated,” he said. I want to understand how he molested her and how much she accomplished with her commitment. I want to learn and understand the process going on in their minds.