India seniors reflect on Under-19 World Cup experience
What's the story?
Members of India's senior team, who were once a part of Under-19 World Cups in the past, have provided some useful advice for the youngsters who will be representing their country in the upcoming edition in January 2018. Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav, speaking to icc-cricket.com, recalled their respective journeys of the tournament.
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While Dhawan was India's pillar in 2004, Jadeja twice played in the tournament in 2006 and 2008. The second time that he was a part of the team, India, under Virat Kohli, went on to lift the trophy in Malaysia. Kuldeep was a part of the youth World Cup as recently as in 2014, where he even took a hat-trick against Scotland.
The heart of the matter
Dhawan, the Man of the Tournament in 2004, believes this is a great opportunity for learning. “The under-19 Cricket World Cup is a great platform for youngsters as they get an early feel of international cricket. I feel this tournament has gained in importance over the years with so many players prospering after doing well in the tournament. The tournament helped me gain in confidence and prepare better for senior cricket.”
Jadeja agreed and said, “It is a great learning ground and helps players comprehend what international cricket is all about.” Kuldeep, meanwhile, hailed the Under-19 World Cup as a “big stage”. “It is obviously important to perform well in the U19 World Cup. Later on you can develop your skills for the future and to play for the senior team. Enjoy, play hard and believe in yourself,” the Chinaman bowler advised.
The twelfth edition of the Under-19 World Cup begins on January 13 in New Zealand, who will become the first nation to host the event thrice. India have won it thrice before – in 2000, 2008 and 2012 – and under the very capable Prithvi Shaw, will be looking to go one step ahead after making it to the final in 2016.
A word of advice from now experienced cricketers like Dhawan, Jadeja and Kuldeep, who have been through the grind, can act as a source of great help for young legs competing for the highest honour at the junior level.