Press Trust of india

Secret to our team’s good performance is team bonding: India U19 captain Saharan

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Benoni (South Africa): The camaraderie in the dressing room has played a significant role in Indian team’s dominant run in the U19 World Cup, skipper Uday Sharan said on Thursday and vowed to bring the trophy back home.

Defending champions India have not lost a single match in the tournament. They have logged big-margin victories and were not tested till they bumped into hosts South Africa in the semifinals in which they scored a narrow two-wicket win.

India have been a force to reckon with in the Under-19 World Cup, reaching the title clash seven times in last nine editions.

“It is a dream for all of us to win this tournament. Everyone gets only one Under-19 World Cup and we want to repeat the history. We also want to register our names in history. We are focused on giving our best,” Saharan told PTI-Bhasha in an interview.

“I would like to tell the countrymen to continue supporting us like this. We promise to give everything to bring the Cup back.”

India’s power-packed performance in the tournament was highlighted by three 200-plus run margin wins.

“The secret to our team’s good performance is team bonding. The atmosphere in the dressing room is very friendly. Everyone trusts each other and is ready to help each other. That is why the performance graph has been consistently good,” said Saharan, who spent his early days in Sri Ganganagar before shifting to the border town of Fazilka in Punjab.

“We are not focusing on rival team, we are concentrating on our own game. We have made a match-by-match strategy and are taking every match seriously,” Saharan, who has scored 389 runs in six matches so far, said.

Asked if the Indian colt would have revenge on their minds if they play against Australia since the senior team had lost to them in the ODI World Cup final last year, Saharan said, “I am not thinking anything like that.”

“We are focusing on our game and we have to give our best. We are playing according to the match conditions. Every match is important because it is the World Cup and all the teams are good.”

A lot of stalwarts in the senior national team have emerged from the Under-19 World Cup like Mohammad Kaif, Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill and Ravindra Jadeja.

Saharan refused comparisons with these stars, saying he won’t take pressure of legacy.

“I never think about it. I don’t think about the past. I just think about how I can give my best for the team and how to get the best out of the team.”

Chasing a target of 245 runs in the semi-final against South Africa, Saharan pulled the team out of trouble after it had lost four wickets for just 32 runs.

Saharan pulled the team out of pits with a record 171-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Sachin Dhas (96).

“My father has taught me to play it as long as possible. I chose to be the finisher and I will try to fulfil the responsibility till the end, to take the team to victory.

“I don’t have to do anything different. Anyway, I remain calm even if match in a tight spot. It is important to keep the mind working and I feel that I am doing right now and will do the same in future also.”

“Shubhman Gill is also from Fazilka and has emerged from Under 19 WC which is inspiring. My aim from the beginning was also to make my country proud,” he said

“Virat Kohli is my favourite because his passion and aggression is amazing. His love for the game, enthusiasm and desire to win inspires me. I have never met him but we have talked on the team video call. I want to meet him very soon,” he said.


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