Kolkata, Nov 19 (IANS) India U-19 captain Ricky Bhui on Thursday said their coach Rahul Dravid was not only helping them with the technicalities of the game, but was also teaching them how to prepare themselves mentally. “We have been keenly following whatever he (Dravid) has been telling us. He is a man with so much knowledge, therefore, it adds a lot to our game. He is helping us prepare both technically and mentally,” Bhui told reporters here.
The India team’s fielding coach Abhay Sharma also echoed Bhui’s sentiments. “Dravid is a man with a vision. The kids are growing through a learning process. So Dravid does not enforce anything on them instead he makes them realise how to go about things,” Sharma said.
The India U-19 team will play against their counterparts from Afghanistan and Bangladesh in a tri-series tournament here which is scheduled to start from Friday. The hosts will face Bangladesh in the opener and each team will get to play the others twice. The final is slated for November 29. Sharma also added that they were focussing on “building cricketers” who would be effective in all the three formats. “Modern day cricket is changing, we have Tests, One-Day and now T20s. So we are building cricketers to play according to the formats,” he said. Bhui wants to have a good run here in the tournament as it would be a perfect platform for addressing problems and gauging the team’s strength ahead of the World Cup in January next year.
“This is an opportunity to prove our talent and skills. We would want to win the tournament and make the country proud. It is also a platform to work hard and settle in before the World Cup.” However, winning the trophy will not be easy for Bhui’s side as the Bangladesh U-19s come into the tournament with four back to back series wins.
They beat South Africa home (5-1) and away (5-2) before winning against Zimbabwe (4-0) and Sri Lanka (3-2). “The professional cricketing set up in Bangladesh is improving. Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is supporting us a lot. The national side doing well in turn is motivating us to play great cricket. Even senior cricketers like Shakib Al Hasan are coming and helping us out,” Bangladesh captain Mehedy Hasan Miraz said.
The U-19 World Cup is to be held in Bangladesh, asked if there will be added pressure on the side to perform in front of the home ground, Miraz said: “No. We have been playing as a team for the last three-four years now, so we know each other well. There will be no pressure on us.”