India’s under 19 head coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar said that team players’ focus is on the ICC U-19 World Cup as India Colts kick off their campaign on January 15 (Saturday).
The 17-member squad of the India U-19 team will be led by New Delhi player Yash Dhull as the young boys play their first match against South Africa U19 team at the Providence Stadium in Guyana.
India U19 team have won four World Cup titles since winning for the first time in the year 2000 and followed the success in 2008, 2012 & 2018.
There is a huge legacy since India has done so well in this tournament: Hrishikesh Kanitkar
Kanitkar admitted that as every tournament there are completely fresh faces in the team so everyone starts afresh. The team coach ruled out the possibilities of players aiming for IPL auctions and Ranji Trophy.
“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,” Kanitkar said during an online media interaction ahead of the marquee event.
“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,” he added.
The morale in the team was good: Hrishikesh Kanitkar
This will be the first time that the U19 World Cup will be staged keeping the norms and restrictions to combat the COVID-19 virus.
Kantikar said that it will be challenging for his players to adapt to the COVID-19 bubble norms but they will have to get acclimatising to such types of an environment for their future tours.
“Yes….it is a challenge. What we need to realise 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 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 added.
India ended as the runners-up of the previous edition of the ICC U19 World Cup 2020 as they lost to the Bangladesh U19 team by three wickets in the final in Potchefstroom.