Session with 'God' was awesome: Smit Patel
Most sportsmen offer prayers to God before embarking on an important assignment. However, for the young Indian team that left for the ICC U-19 World Cup in Australia last night, the 'God' of Indian cricket himself � Sachin Tendulkar � paid a visit to the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) Recreation Centre at Bandra-Kurla Complex and offered some invaluable tips.
The colts had a near hour-long session with the batting maestro, who shared his knowledge and experiences of the game with them. “We were all mesmerised as Sachin, who is like a God to us cricketers, spoke mainly about how he handled pressure in the initial years and later on,” wicketkeeper Smit Patel told MiD DAY before leaving for Australia yesterday.
Tendulkar not only had a combined session with the youngsters, but also spoke to one-on-one and answered each and every question the colts had for him. “It was like a dream come true for me to meet such a personality. He shared his vast experience with us and asked us to concentrate on our strong points rather than build pressure on ourselves. He said, ‘enjoy your game, give your best and don’t think about the pressure.
Pressure will be there during your entire career, so you have to live with it’,” added the 19-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman.
Tendulkar has featured in six World Cups for India.
Tendulkar zeroed in on the pressures of playing in a World Cup. “Sachin said there would always be additional pressure in a World Cup as compared to other tournaments. So, he simply advised us to try not to think that we are playing a World Cup,” Patel said. The young gun will now cherish this interaction forever. “It was an awesome session. At the end of it, we all feel very enthusiastic,” said Patel.
Meanwhile, skipper Unmukt Chand told the media that he was happy with the team’s preparation for the premier tournament. “The conditions are quite known to us as we toured Australia recently. The Asia Cup experience was also good, and we are ready for the tough battle ahead,” Chand said.
The U-19 World Cup will be played in Queensland from August 11 to 26 with India playing their first match against the West Indies on August 12.