India U-19 and their World Cup dreams

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The ICC U-19 World Cup is a few weeks away from now. The U-19 Asia Cup Champions are up against the world with the aim to be the world-beaters. India have had a legacy in U-19 championships being 4 times winners, 3 times runners-up, and 2 times semi-finalists. Adding to that, this platform presents the youngsters with their best chance to display their caliber and talent.

India has seen so many cricketers from the U-19 circuit, from veterans like Yuvraj Singh, Mohammed Kaif, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja to current generation’s sensation like Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan, Prithvi Shaw, and Shubman Gill – each one of them became the superstars of the game.

However, the Pandemic has been a challenge for the squad. As a collective unit, the players have had limited time for practice because of fewer tournaments, domestic matches in the recent past.

Irrespective of all hurdles, the team emerged triumphant in the U-19 Asia Cup in UAE. The victory will definitely boost the squad to be at their best when they face global challengers in the World Cup. In the two warm-up ties against host West Indies and Australia, Yash Dhull and his troops comprehensively won the matches.

A game of expectations and ambitions

A great performance in the World Cup will be a ticket to lucrative contracts in the IPL auction. The fact that a tournament as big as this opens so many doors for the young budding cricketers, the players need to focus on their game and stay in the present. Talking on this, the U-19 Indian Team’s Head Coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar said,

“What we try to do is not look too far ahead. Yes, next thing that comes is the IPL auction, Ranji Trophy selections and first XI, but that comes later,”.
“Our job is to take it one day at a time, don’t let their mind wander too much and think of the future thinking ‘what will happen [next]’. What we need them to focus on is what they can do in the present moment.”
“That can be a challenge sometimes because obviously the players are looking ahead considering their goals and aspirations, but that’s where coaches come in to tell them what they need to do in the short term to help them in the longer term. The advice is simple: whatever happens, it is finally a game of cricket. It’s the same game they are playing since they were young.” he added.

U-19 WC 22: It all starts here

Kanitkar is optimistic about the team’s performances in the World Cup. India are placed in Group B alongside Ireland, Uganda, and South Africa.

“The Asia Cup was important because this set of guys hadn’t played together as a team ever before,” Kanitkar told to the press.
“So, for us, it was very important in terms of team building and getting those many matches under our belt. It can be difficult, but it’s how you look at it. You have to be realistic about setting goals in that one-and-a-half months, and as long as you get your head around the fact that you have 45 days with the team, you find solutions. It is a challenge but what we need to realize is, this is the norm now. So it is better to get used to it, get your head around the fact that this is the reality now, and then move on from there.” he concluded.

India U19 World Cup squad: Yash Dhull (C), Harnoor Singh, Angkrish Raghuvanshi, SK Rasheed (VC), Nishant Sindhu, Siddarth Yadav, Aneeshwar Gautam, Dinesh Bana, Aaradhya Yadav, Raj Angad Bawa, Manav Parakh, Kaushal Tambe, RS Hangargekar, Vasu Vats, Vicky Ostwal, Ravikumar, Garv Sangwan.

Reserves: Rishit Reddy, Uday Saharan, Ansh Gosai, Amrit Raj Upadhyay.

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