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HIGHLIGHTS

  • 6 uncapped players are part of the India squad for Sri Lanka series
  • NCA chief Rahul Dravid is head coach for the Sri Lanka tour
  • India will take on Sri Lanka in the limited overs series, starting July 18

India’s uncapped trio of Devdutt Padikkal, Nitish Rana and Chetan Sakariya are all praises head coach Rahul Dravid and lauded his ‘calm’ and ‘humble’ demeanour.

“Being from the same school, the first time I actually met him was in one of our sports day events, where I had to present him with a bouquet that is when I spoke to him for the first time,” said Padikkal on Star Sports show Follow The Blues.

“I have always been awestruck by how incredibly calm and gentle a human being he is. To have achieved so much in cricket and to be so down to earth, humble and kind towards everyone is incredible to watch,” added the 21-year-old, who plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

“To have him (Dravid) as our coach, you couldn’t ask for anything more and to have a mentor like him beside you, it’s just a great feeling, and hopefully, I can pick up a lot of things from him,” said Padikkal.

As many as six uncapped players are part of the India squad for the series beginning in Colombo on July 18. NCA chief Dravid is head coach on the tour with the Test team currently in the UK.

“I have heard that Rahul Dravid as a coach is similar to Rahul Dravid as a player. I wish I could bring even one per cent of the patience he has within me; it will be a big achievement for me,” said Rana, who plays for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.

India will take on Sri Lanka in the limited overs series, comprising three ODIs and as many T20s.

Meanwhile, rookie Saurashtra pacer Chetan Sakariya wants to be as determined as Dravid.

“I would want to learn how he was so determined when the opposing teams like Australia and England played dominant cricket.

“I want to understand how he troubled them and how he could achieve so much with sheer determination. I want to learn and understand the process which goes behind that mindset,” said Sakariya.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Samson talked about how fortunate the young guns are to have learnt the trade from the legendary Dravid, who played in 164 Tests and 344 ODIs for India.

“Each and every individual in the India A side or the juniors going into the Indian team have been fortunate to go through a person called Rahul Dravid. We are very lucky to learn our cricket from him,” said Samson.

“I remember going to the Rajasthan Royals trials one day I batted really well and he came up to me and asked me a question ‘can you play for my team?’. So, that was the biggest moment of my life, and I can never forget that. That shows how great a human being he is, and I really enjoy his company,” he added.

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