Rahul Dravid has been phenomenal as coach. (Getty Images)
Rahul Dravid has been phenomenal as coach. (Getty Images)

'He tried to make them The Wall too': Inzamam lauds Dravid's contribution towards Indian team

  • Inzamam praised Dravid for what he's done for Indian cricket, highlighting that his biggest strength was making the players mentally tough, without which India's Test series win against Australia wouldn't have been possible.
By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 10:00 PM IST

Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-Ul-Haq has spoken highly of Rahul Dravid, saying the former India batsman deserves a lot of credit for shaping up youngsters who are currently representing the senior team.

Inzamam's comments come a day after India registered their second consecutive Test series win in Australia, winning the 2020/21 Border-Gavaskar trophy 2-1, a series where plenty of youngsters made a mark in the absence of Virat Kohli and other senior players who were out injured.

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Dravid, currently the NCA (National Cricket Academy) chief, spent four years coaching the India A and Under-19 sides between 2016 and 2019, and under him both teams reached unprecedented heights with the Under-19 team winning the World Cup title in 2018.

Inzamam praised Dravid for what he's done for Indian cricket, highlighting that his biggest strength was making the players mentally tough, without which the Test series win wouldn't have been possible.

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"Winning a series in Australia is the toughest of them all. I have never seen in my life a team as young as this Indian team to beat Australia on their soil. I was wondering what led to this and I realised that Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar had played Under 19 World Cup in 2016.

"Then Shubman Gill and [Prithvi] Shaw played the 2018 Under-19 World Cup. The likes of Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Hanuma Vihari and Mayank Agarwal have lately played a lot of cricket for India A," Inzamam said in a video posted on his YouTube channel.

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"This journey from Under 19 to India A and from India A to the national team, I realised that they guys improved their base through none other than Rahul Dravid. Dravid's strength… the reason why he was called The Wall is because he had a strong defense. He could play in every condition, was mentally so strong that he could adjust himself in any position. Dravid worked with these players to make them mentally tough."

That India were able to recover from Adelaide horror to end up winning the series owes plenty to young Shubman Gill - who scored two half-centuries in his first three Tests - Rishabh Pant, Mohammed Siraj – who in a span of three Tests, went from being a debutant to becoming the leader of the attack – and many more. Washington Sundar, making his Test debut and Shardul Thakur, in his second Test, did not put a foot wrong, taking wickets and scoring runs. All this, Inzamam reckons, is due to the Dravid effect that is rubbing off on such promising youngsters.

"After losing the first Test and Virat going back, to win the Melbourne Test and taking it to the decider without four of your main players who were injured, I think it was all Dravid's doing. More than technique, he tried to make them The Wall as well, who could play in every condition. Dravid trained them, which these players have benefitted from," Inzamam added.

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