Monday, February 5, 2018

How backroom men pushed India in front at U-19 World Cup

Mount Maunganui: Indian players and team coach Rahul Dravid celebrate with the trophy after winning the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup finals, in Mount Maunganui on Saturday. India beat Australia by eight wickets to win record fourth U-19 World Cup. (ICC via PTI Photo)
Mount Maunganui: Indian players and team coach Rahul Dravid celebrate with the trophy after winning the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup finals, in Mount Maunganui on Saturday. India beat Australia by eight wickets to win record fourth U-19 World Cup. Pic/(ICC via PTI Photo)

As the Indian players ran out on the field to celebrate their World Cup triumph, the support staff that had been so pivotal in the win had a private moment of their own in the dressing room on Saturday. There were just a couple of hugs. But speak to any of the players and they will credit the backroom staff for their victory. "They are very important to us — in terms of fitness, recovery, what we eat etc.

They almost acted like parents at times. They played such a key role in us winning. They don't appear on TV like us... they are always doing the hard yards which people don't see from the outside." a player told mid-day after the win. While Rahul Dravid was the prime figure, trainer Anand Date, physio Yogesh Parmar, video analyst Devraj Raut and masseur Mangesh Gaikwad ensured the team were physically and mentally fit for each challenge.

Invaluable Date, Parmar
Date, the trainer or 'strength and conditioning coach' was instrumental in ensuring the pace bowlers had stamina and strength to bowl at express pace. Date's strict fitness regime was highly praised by all the players. Parmar, too, had a huge role to play. He was the catalyst in getting Ishan Porel back to fitness after he hurt his ankle in the opening game and was on the verge of returning home. But Parmar performed his magic and Porel was back.

Enterprising Devraj Raut
Video analyst Raut ensured each player was fed with videos of each opponent before a match. While it might seem straightforward, Raut had gone out of his way to obtain videos of opposition that India had not played in the lead up to matches.

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