India calm before taking on confident Aussies
As India went through their final moments of preparation for their U-19 World Cup final against hosts Australia, there was a feeling of calmness amongst the team members. It was rare sight considering their age and burden expectations from the people back home.
Asked about the mature behaviour from the colts, India’s fielding coach R Sridhar said that has been standing instructions from the team management. “We want to make sure the boys are not under pressure and shouldn’t think too much about the game in the lead up to it. If they can be relaxed now, then by tomorrow, they will be ready to execute all plans,” Sridhar told SUNDAY MiD DAY.
The matter of calmness was elaborated by head coach Bharat Arun, who had brief one-to-ones with every batsman. “I just wanted to remind them of their roles and make sure they are mentally ready,” said Arun.
India may be the underdogs in today’s final, but they certainly believe they can get the better of Australia. More so because India had already beaten the hosts in a quadrangular series final here in April when captain Unmukt Chand produced a sparkling ton.
Given the conditions, India’s fate will depend on how the top order handles the Aussie fast bowlers. A lot will also depend on spinners Harmeet Singh and Baba Aparajith. The players, who are together since last September, preparing for the mega event, will not be happy with anything less than the title. “All of us will never be part of the same team again, so we want to make this tournament a special one,” said vice-captain Akshadeep Nath.
Australia, on the other hand, are determined to forget the defeat back in April. Coach Stuart Law believes that the team has improved considerably after that.
“We lost four months ago and since then, there have been plenty of changes. Craig McDermott (national team’s bowling coach in 2011) has come along and our bowlers have learnt few more tricks. We are confident of beating India if we play our best cricket,” Law said.
The Australian top order looked vulnerable at times, but Law didn’t agree. “We are not playing on placid tracks, so you expect to lose wickets, but we have had a few days off and I have spoken to the guys and I’m sure they will come good on Sunday,” Law said.