New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Batting legend and former Indian skipper Rahul Dravid has said that India's much-feared pace battery, led by Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, are inspiring the youths in India to bowl fast.

“I think what Ishant (Sharma), (Mohammed) Shami, Umesh (Yadav), Bhuvneshwar Kumar and (Jasprit) Bumrah are doing, is they are actually in a way becoming role models for a lot of younger generation of boys who believe now they can be fast bowlers,” he said while speaking to 'ESPNCricinfo'.

“Obviously we had people like Kapil (Dev), Sri (Javagal Srinath), Zaheer (Khan) and all in the past. But as a group, this is probably one of the best fast-bowling attacks we have ever had. I think that's a great inspiration for a lot of these young boys,” he added.

The 46-year-old also feels that maintaining good mental health is ‘big challenge’ and the players need to strike a balance in everything they do to overcome the stress of busy schedules and uncertain futures. He even said that it is difficult to cope when one spends a considerable time on the sidelines.

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“It is a big challenge. This is a tough game. There is so much competition, a lot of pressure, and kids are playing all year round now. It is a game in which you do sometimes spend a lot of time waiting around, having a lot of time to think,” he said

“....you really need to look after yourself on and off the field, and look after stuff like mental health. That's again something that, as much as we talk to these boys about, it's really important to maintain a certain level of balance in everything you do,” he further said.

“Be able to find that balance between not getting too excited when you succeed and not getting too disappointed when you fail. I just think being able to lead a slightly balanced life potentially helps,” he added.

Speaking about his role as NCA Director, Dravid said that he has been trying to put a system in place where professional help is at hand when a player needs it.

“There has been some work on that as well, wherein eventually we'll get to a point where hopefully we should have professionals on board. I think sometimes some of these things need to be handled by professionals,” he said.

“I don't think some of the coaches, or some of us, have the ability to deal with some of the issues. Some things we might be able to, but there may be some things where we might need to look at professional help,” Dravid further said.

“It's one of the things we are definitely keen on doing at the NCA: giving some of these boys access to some level of professional help if they do require it,” he added.

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma