Mayank Dagar, Sehwag's cousin, talks about contending for the U-19 Finals
Meet Mayank Dagar: India's U-19 player, Sehwag's cousin, Varun Dhawan lookalike, Shakespeare fan.
India will face West Indies in the U-19 finals tomorrow. One of the players making remarkable contributions to India's run is Mayank Dagar. Named in India's 15 member U-19 squad, Mayank didn't immediately get a chance to show his mettle.
16-year-old Zeeshan Ansari featured in India's first two matches, after which Mayank got a chance to play. He was sitting ready to play, he spoke to Wisden India, saying "It’s India under-19 team, so obviously all players in this team are good. So, it’s all about chance actually. So I was just waiting for my chance, and I got it against Nepal. I just went and enjoyed my bowling. That’s it.”
Mayank took 2 wickets and conceded 32 runs against Nepal. Against Namibia he bowled 3/25, and against Sri Lanka he again took three wickets and allowed 21 runs.
One of the wickets he took against Sri Lanka, that of Kamindu Mendis, remains as his coach's favourite moments of the U-19 World Cup.
In the semi-finals, Mayank also scored 17 runs. Coach Paras Mhambrey spoke glowingly of Mayank. He said, “Mayank has always done well, he has always done the role and picked the wickets. We want him to bowl up front, he does that,
Mayank also has aspirations to be an all-rounder. He's said “It’s a limited-overs game. Batting is also important. I am seeing myself, and even my team is seeing me, as an all-rounder,”
Virender Sehwag is a cousin of Mayank's mother. Mayank credits Sehwag with helping him improve. He's said, "When I go to Delhi, I interact with him. So it helps. I know that he too played the Under-19 World Cup in 1998. I still have his picture, in the Indian team blazer, from that World Cup. We spoke before I came here. He said just play your natural game, and try and implement what you have learnt.”
Mayank will be looking to continue with his studies in Class 12 after the World Cup. He's said "I am looking forward to doing English honours. I would like to read Shakespeare in graduation.
Mayank has often been told of his resemblance with a certain Bollywood star. He's said, "Girls have told me that I look like Varun Dhawan. I do get attention. Obviously when you are playing at such level, people are going to approach you. But, I am not getting into that stuff right now.”
Maynak has the best economy among the Indian bowlers (3.03). Mayank feels that his height enables him to bowl better. “Obviously height is an advantage because I get bounce off the wicket, which is good for spinners,”
Mayank also credits the presence of experienced coaches in helping the team maintain equilibrium. “As coach Rahul Dravid sir, Abhay Sharma sir and Paras Mhambrey sir are there to guide us, there is not much pressure,” he's said.
Mayank Dagar will have an opportunity to help India win the U-19 World Cup tomorrow, as India will face West Indies.