U-19 World Cup: No change in approach, says Paras Mhambrey

Updated: Feb 09, 2020, 07:59 IST | Subodh Mayure | Mumbai

India U-19 head coach Paras Mhambrey says Garg & Co will continue to be ruthless when they take on B'desh in World Cup final today

India captain Priyam Garg and Bangladesh skipper Mohammad Akbar Ali on the eve of the U-19 World Cup final at JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom, South Africa on Saturday. Pic/Getty Images
India captain Priyam Garg and Bangladesh skipper Mohammad Akbar Ali on the eve of the U-19 World Cup final at JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom, South Africa on Saturday. Pic/Getty Images

While the senior Indian team have developed the reputation of being masters of the chase, the juniors are taking a similar route.

Since last July, the India U-19 team have won 25 of their 28 ODIs, 15 of them coming while chasing. The Boys in Blue dished out a dominant performance in their semi-final against arch-rivals Pakistan, winning by 10 wickets to reach the final of the U-19 World Cup for the third consecutive time.

As India prepare to take on Bangladesh, who are in their first-ever U-19 World Cup final, head coach Paras Mhambrey spoke to mid-day from South Africa about his team's chase mantra, the special talent of Yashasvi Jaiswal and skipper Priyam Garg's leadership qualities.

Edited excerpts:

What's the secret behind consistent success while chasing?
It's a result of constant efforts in putting ourselves in that situation. It has been a dedicated effort. We always challenged ourselves and the boys responded without taking any pressure which resulted in consistent success. We want the boys to be ready for any situation [chasing or defending a target] and they have showed it with their performances.

Paras Mhambrey
Paras Mhambrey

Any special plans for the final?
Nothing different from our earlier preparations! The boys know very well what to do and what not to do. We are ready with our plans; will continue playing with the same approach.

Did you expect a one-sided affair against Pakistan in the semis?
To be honest, I did not expect such a one-sided semi-final. I was expecting a tough game and we were ready for the challenge. Credit should be given to the boys. They performed very well in all departments. A low-scoring game [173 target] of this type can be tricky, but both openers Yashasvi and Divyaansh [Saxena] were mature in their approach.

How different is Yashasvi from others in terms of potential and adaptability?
Yashasvi is a talented cricketer; understands his game very well. He likes to accept challenges and shoulders responsibility very well. He has also played a few first-class and other matches [List A] for Mumbai, and he is using that experience in the World Cup quite well.

How do you view Garg's leadership skills?
The way he handles the team and different situations [is excellent]. He has shown a lot of maturity. His changes in bowling, rotation of spin or pace bowlers, field placements are outstanding. Though he has not scored big [56 v SL is his top score] in the tournament so far, it has not affected his captaincy. That's a sign of a good cricketer.

Do you believe India have the most balanced team in the tournament?
We have quality batsmen, all-rounders and a very good bowling unit that leads to a good combination and balance. It helps to play and perform without taking any pressure. The bonding among the boys too is helping them give their best. I think it's a very well balanced side.

Two pacers from the 2018 U-19 World Cup victory—Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti—are struggling with fitness. What steps should be taken to prevent such issues?
In our team, everyone is aware of fitness and they are keen to work on it. But when they are not with us, the state associations need to take care of such bowlers in terms of managing their work load and fitness.

How do you see your U-19 journey—the 2018 World Cup-winning team's bowling coach to head coach now?
I am enjoying my role as coach of this team. I also enjoyed and learnt a lot from Rahul Dravid [head coach in 2018]. It's a great honour to coach the India U-19 side. They have exceptional talent and it's a great opportunity for me.

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