Relax, Express, Believe: Virat advises U19s
Hyderabad, Aug 25: The India Under-19 team that will be taking on Australia U19 in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup final tomorrow has received a special message from India’s rising cricket star, Virat Kohli. “I would just like to say, well done, firstly to Unmukt and all the boys. You guys are doing a great job there and keep just one thing in mind, be as relaxed as possible. I know it’s not easy. We messed up in our finals as well, batting first. But we were able to come back and defend a low total. It’s all about believing in yourself; keep believing. You are playing Australia in Australia; but there is nothing better than beating them in their home ground. And probably it’s going to be the most special match of your life. [So] just go out there and express yourself and believe in yourself,” Kohli said while speaking in a television interview.
The 23-year-old, who was part of the Indian team that won the 2011 Cricket World Cup, has also led India to victory in the 2008 ICC U19 CWC, in Malaysia. The former U19 captain lauded the current skipper, Unmukt Chand and his team for their efforts Down Under, and he believes that the young guns have what it takes to give the hosts a run for their money.
On Unmukt Chand
I have seen him playing for Delhi as well. He is a really talented player and [is] really aggressive naturally. All the guys in the team are really talented and they are playing some good cricket out there. I have seen them bat and I have seen them bowl and they have enormous amount of talent. It’s a platform that’s perfectly set for them to deliver and do something special for the team.
On whether winning the Under 19 CWC meant as much as winning the senior CWC in 2011
At that point of time, yes. At that point of time, it was the most exciting thing that happened to us. At the age of 18 or 19, to win a World Cup is always a special feeling because you are representing your country, be it a lower level. But yes, it was as special for us as winning the senior World Cup at a later stage. But obviously, that’s [senior CWC] a pretty huge global event. But at that point of time, it [winning the U19 CWC] was something really special.
On whether an event like the U19 CWC can change the mindset of a cricketer, and whether it turns the boys into men
Yes definitely. If they can cross that last hurdle and put in a great performance and just do things right and do something special on the day, it is going to make them really, really confident and it is going to probably change them a lot as far as their cricketing careers are concerned.