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Challenges are only just beginning, says Rahul Dravid

07 February 2018

"We did not play our number one game in the final, that we played in the quarter-final (versus Bangladesh) and semi-final (against Pakistan)".

This facet of his personality, in fact, came to the fore moments after the side's victory in the final, where he spoke of his embarrassment at being the centre of attention while praising the work done by his players and support staff.

But, India U-19 Rahul Dravid on Monday questioned the inequality in cash prizes between him, the support staff and members of the team after returning home from New Zealand. I am really happy because of these fifteen boys winning the World Cup. "The boys will be playing the first class matches and won't be remembered like the way were in the World Cup. The way they have played and executed in pressure, these kinds of things give you happiness", as reported by DNA.

The batting legend added that the most satisfying part, other than winning the World Cup, was the process the team followed to reach the top. "It was great team work; the guys behind the scenes, the selectors, NCA and the BCCI". The captain-coach duo reflected on the preparation for the tournament, the journey during the campaign and the approach they followed throughout while speaking to the media.

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Pakistan's U-19 team manager Nadeem Khan, a former Test player, appreciated the gesture of Dravid for visiting the opposition dressing room to boost the morale of the players.

Dravid said that the real challenge begins now. I don't think we played our best game in the final but we got the result we needed. India had faced Australia in the 2012 final also and six years down, only one Indian and five Australians have played for the senior team.

He added: "Talent and ability are there, it's about managing themselves, how to deal with pressure and the expectations that will come as U-19 champions". Yet, Dravid was candidly admitted that his side didn't play it's "A" game in the final, but still got through.

"I have played a lot of school cricket and scored heavily there and then in the Ranji Trophy, but when we represent India it's a different feeling".

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"The way our boys handled that game, the quality of cricket that we played, the intensity that we showed was commendable and we did not give them a chance to come back". I met him outside their dressing room and said, well done in the tournament.

"My view is quite well known".

I feel that once they're good enough, they need to play men's cricket.

The auction for the Indian Premier League at the business end of the World Cup raised fears of distraction for the Indian players. It is not all that easy to fudge age in birth certificates, school-leaving certificates all that easily and if corrections are made at a future date they can be detected easily.

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Challenges are only just beginning, says Rahul Dravid