Mumbai trio part of U-19 squad for World Cup title defence
Yashasvi Jaiswal, Atharva Ankolekar and Divyaansh Saxena in the team for 2020 U-19 World Cup in South Africa
Three Mumbai teenagers — Yashasvi Jaiswal, Atharva Ankolekar and Divyaansh Saxena — all in superb form, are set to help defend India's Under-19 World Cup challenge scheduled in South Africa from January 17.
The trio received the news of their selection on Monday in Bangalore where they are attending a fitness camp at the National Cricket Academy along with the rest of their India teammates. The Indian team will be led by UP's Priyam Garg.
Yashasvi, 17, a left-handed batsman and leg-spinner, recently became the youngest double centurion in List A cricket—a 153-ball 203 against Jharkhand in the Vijay Hazare Trophy last October.
He is confident of continuing his fine form in South Africa. "I just want to keep performing. The World Cup is a big platform for all of us and it's a proud feeling to represent the country at this mega tournament," Yashasvi told mid-day from Bangalore.
However, Yashasvi's coach Jwala Singh wants his ward to grab this opportunity with both hands. "The U-19 World Cup platform is totally different from other tournaments. Whoever shines here has a bright future. Yashasvi has good experience. He performed well in junior and senior cricket. I want him to emerge as the highest run-getter in this tournament and return with the man-of-the-tournament award."
Primarily a left-arm spinner but a good contributor with the willow as well, Atharva showed his all-round skills to emerge the top wicket-taker (12) when the India U-19 team won the Asia Cup in Colombo last September.
"I've just been selected in the India U-19 team for the World Cup. But I will be totally satisfied only when we win this tournament," said Atharva. "Whatever I am today is because of my late father [Vinod] and my mother [Vaidehi]. It was his dream to make me a cricketer. I still remember how he gave me my first bat, how he accompanied me to the MIG Cricket Club for coaching despite returning home late after night shifts. I also thank my coach, Prashant Shetty sir," Atharva remarked.
Shetty also played a role in shaping the career of former India U-19 World-Cup-winning captain Prithvi Shaw. "Every game in the World Cup is important. Atharva performed well in the Asia Cup. The team management believes in him, so he should take responsibility and take wickets as the number one left-arm spinner in the team. Rather than just concentrating on saving runs, he should go for wickets," advised Shetty.
Divyaansh, a left-handed opener, scored hundreds for India U-19 against South Africa U-19 and England U-19 teams earlier this year. "From my childhood, I have trained under Dilip [Vengsarkar] sir at his academy. It was my dream to represent the country. It's an opportunity to give my best in South Africa next month. I must thank Rahul Dravid sir and Hrishikesh Kanitkar sir for their valuable guidance, which helped me score big runs at the U-19 level," said Divyaansh.
"My family's contribution is immense. They did not force me to focus on studies. They just told me to pass my examinations every year and play cricket," he remarked.
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