The current U-19 captain for India asks the former captain for advice and tips to defend their titles.
The ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup is a month away and participating teams are making last-minute adjustments and preparations. This upcoming tournament is set to take place in South Africa from January 17 to February 9, 2020.
The defending champions, India, will be led by Priyam Garg. They will look to keep the title in their possession while their captain will look to mirror past captains’ performances: Mohammad Kaif in 2000, Virat Kohli in 2008, Unmukt Chand in 2012, and Prithvi Shaw in 2018.
Being captain for defending champion team brings a lot of pressure. But not for Primyam Garg who is looking forward to the event to prove himself and his capabilities both as a player and as a leader.
‘There’s no pressure for me. I am seeing it only as an opportunity to captain a team in such a big tournament. We’ve played so many events, so that’s an advantage for us. As a captain, all I’m thinking about is how to take my team forward; how to navigate the team out of difficult situations’, he said.
Up until recently, he has also been asking former captain Prithvi Shaw for advice. ‘Although I haven’t spoken to Virat (Kohli) sir yet, I have spoken to Prithvi sir a lot. He told me your planning, your process and your team-bonding is most important. The more the team will feel a sense of togetherness, the better will they perform’.
‘Prithvi sir also told me that the team should know what their strengths are. He said that team-bonding played a big role in India’s success in 2018. And he told me the importance of bringing the best out of the players’, he said.
As for their coach, Paras Mhambrey, he is quite satisfied with their preparations and is confident that their team can overcome any and all obstacles. ‘We had a good couple of days, some good net sessions at Alur. One of the requirements at Alur was to prepare helpful wickets. We had three practice sessions, played on seamer-friendly or bowler-friendly conditions. So, we’ve done those to the best of our abilities’, he said in an interview.
‘The good thing is that we’re a very balanced side. (We have) seaming all-rounders, spinning all-rounders, quality fast bowlers and batsmen as well. So, those games in South Africa give us an opportunity to experiment and try a few combinations. In case we face such conditions, then we know the right steps’.
‘We’ve been preparing for the conditions we can expect there. But you also have to be flexible. You go in with one kind of mindset, but the conditions may not turn out that way. Teams that are flexible will always do well. We’re looking at doing that too. We’ve spoken about it and we’re lucky to have a balanced 15’.
India’s U19 team will first face Sri Lanka’s U19 team on January 19. To find out more about India’s upcoming matches, visit Betwala’s page.
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