U19 CWC 2022: Key is to have short targets and stay focused, says India U19 coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar

Kanitkar also lauded captain Yash Dhull.

India Under-19 side recently won Asia Cup | BCCI

India U-19 head coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar said that his side would set short targets as they are gearing up for the 2022 ICC U19 Cricket World Cup, which begins on January 14, 2022, in the West Indies.

India will lock horns against South Africa in their opening match of the U19 World Cup 2022 on Saturday (January 15) in Guyana and then Ireland and Uganda on January 19 and 22 respectively.

Recently, India's U19 side won the Youth Asia Cup and now they are aiming to add another trophy to take the team’s rich legacy in U19 World Cup history further. India is the most successful team, with four World Cup titles in 2000, 2008, 2012, and 2018.

India also finished as runner-up in 2016 and 2020.

Kanitkar said during an online media interaction ahead of their tournament opener: “There is a huge legacy since India has done so well in this tournament. It doesn't help that we have won four times. There is a new team, so you have to start afresh.

We don't want to look too far ahead at things like the IPL auction and the Ranji Trophy. What we need to do is to just focus on what we can do in this tournament. We, as a coaching unit, keep them focussed on what they can do in the short term.”

Read Also: U19 CWC 2022: Harnoor Singh’s ton helps India beat Australia in warm-up game

On being asked about the challenges to stay in bio-bubbles and play, the head coach said: “Yes....it is a challenge. What we need to realize is that this is the norm now. It is better to get used to it. It is the reality now, staying in the bubble, the boys will be able to learn from this, after this World Cup also when they need to stay in bubbles, they will be up for it.”

He also feels India’s victory in the U-19 Asia Cup was of great help for the side heading into the Under-19 World Cup 2022.

He added, “It is important because we had not played together as a team. For us, it was important in terms of team building and getting matches under our belt. It has been of great help.”

Praising the fast bowling all-rounder Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Kanitkar said: “It augurs well for the future. The talent is there...it is about grooming and handling them well. Rajvardhan is a really exciting prospect and bowls at a fair clip. He has a good yorker and a bouncer and he is not a bad batsman. You will find that out in the tournament. He is keen to do well for the team. These are good signs.”

India U19 captain Yash Dhull with Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja | TwitterOn the young captain Yash Dhull, the coach said: “The primary quality is to have respect from the players. I think that is what he has, the respect of the team. He is able to take tough calls. Every time, especially while fielding, he can't be told to do things, he needs to make his decisions. He is up to it. I think his instincts are tuned fine and think he can do justice to the job.”

Meanwhile, Dhull said: “The morale in the team was good. It is important to take it game by game and see how to improve game by game. We will keep our intent and take it as it comes.”

He also opened up about his interactions with the legendary VVS Laxman and Rohit Sharma, Dhull signed off by saying, “They told us about their experiences and that will surely help us in the tournament ahead.”

(With PTI Inputs)


By Rashmi Nanda - 14 Jan, 2022

    Share Via