Rahul Dravid managed to draw praise from India’s fiercest rivals as the U-19 Pakistan coach Nazeem Khan appreciated Dravid’s gesture. After beating the Pakistan team in the semi-final, the former India skipper made a visit to Pakistan dressing room and gave a pep talk to the players.
Rahul Dravid, a name synonymous with humility, has always been lauded for his brilliant displays of sportsmanship on and off the pitch. After a resounding victory with the Indian Colts at the U-19 World Cup in New Zealand, the Indian legend finally ended his long-awaited wait to lay his hands on a World Cup trophy.
But en route to the finals, the young colts wrecked havoc versus neighbours Pakistan in the semis as they beat them by a massive margin of 203 runs. The loss was hard on Pakistan's young team but later on, Dravid paid a visit to their dressing room to lift their spirits. Pakistan U-19 coach Nadeem Khan, a former Test player, appreciated the gesture of Dravid to visit the opposition dressing room and boost the morale of the players.
"It was a very nice gesture only confirming Dravid's stature in our eyes," Nadeem said PTI.
This is not the first time that Dravid had won hearts from across the border. Earlier, Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez met Dravid on a flight to New Zealand while the latter was accompanying the U-19 squad for the World Cup. Hafeez, who had played against Dravid in many India vs Pakistan encounters, was all praise for Dravid as he went on to post a selfie with him on Twitter.
Pakistan U-19 team manager Nadeem told media on returning from New Zealand that the way players performed against India, it seemed as someone had cast a magic spell on them.
"We were confident that it would be a close match but as the match progressed and our batting went down for 59 it made one wonder if there was a magic spell on the team," Nadeem said.
"It appeared as if our batsmen had no idea what was happening out on the field or how to tackle the situation and the pressure," Khan added.
Khan, a former spinner and also elder brother of cricketer Moin Khan, admitted that a lot needs to change in Pakistan in order to get the most out of their youngsters.
"I wouldn't say our performance was satisfactory even though we managed to make the semifinals. Compared to previous youth teams the current generation of junior players lacked in many areas," he added.