India U-19 all-rounder Abhishek Sharma suggested they aren't going to brush-off any team in the World Cup Under-19. They had recently suffered shocking defeats against Nepal and Bangladesh at Asia Cup U-19. That had resulted in an early exit from the group stages in the tournament.
However, India U-19 has shown good performance in the on-going major ICC tournament and defeated Australia, Papua New Guinea and Zimbabwe with huge margins.
“We committed a mistake (in Asia Cup) but this time we are fully ready. We’re concentrating on every team but it’s important to work on our strengths. We want to dominate. We have played some very good cricket so far,” he said in an interview.
Hailing from Punjab, Abhishek Sharma rose to fame when he lifted the Raj Singh Dungarpur award for being the highest scorer (1200 runs) and the highest wicket-taker (57 scalps) in the Vijay Merchant Trophy (2015-2016). He also led the India U-19 team to Youth Asia Cup glory in Sri Lanka in 2016.
Abhishek recently picked up 2/22 against Zimbabwe in the ongoing ICC U19 World Cup 2018, as India won the match by 10 wickets. The southpaw had played an innings of 23 runs in 8 balls in India’s 100-run win over Australia in their first game of the tournament.
The left-hander talked about his transition in last two years. He said: “I’ve grown in confidence since captaining the side. Captaincy does not allow you to be complacent at any stage. It just makes you raise your own bar of performance. You want to be a better player. I’m really happy with my progress.”
“The dream is to win (the World Cup) and make it to the senior side. Hopefully, I’ll be able to achieve that,” he added.
Former India cricketer Rahul Dravid is coaching India U-19 team. Abhishek said that Dravid has helped him a lot. “Rahul sir helped me a lot. He always tells me to convert my starts into big knocks. Batting at No. 5, 6 is a different task altogether,” he said.
Asked about his cricketing idols, he said: “Yuvraj Singh is one player I look forward to. Apart from him, I really admire MS Dhoni. I’m a big fan of his finishing skills.”