WC win a big stepping stone: Aparajith
Mumbai, Aug 29: Baba Aparajith’s all-round performances in the quarter and the semi-finals were crucial in India bringing home the ICC Under-19 World Cup for the third time. However, just like his idol, Rahul Dravid, the youngster has taken all his success in his stride and dealt with all the attention with poise.
In a chat with bcci.tv, Aparajith spoke about the hard yards and the advice that helped India U19 win the World Cup. He also talked about the long road ahead.
What does winning the World Cup mean to you?
It is a very good stepping stone for us. It is good that we have done it for our country. Not many people get to play the Under-19 World Cup. So winning it and that too against Australia, is even better.
What was your role as a batsman and how did you prepare for it?
I used to open the innings for my state [Tamil Nadu]. Even in the Asia Cup, I went in to bat at No.3, so it wasn’t anything different for me. My role was to play till the end. I felt that if I play my natural game, take ones and twos, I knew that my team could get a good score.
Being an all-rounder did your interaction with Yuvarj Singh help you?
It helped. Everything helped us; every camp, everything that we did, helped. We played four tournaments. So the gelling has been so good that we knew each other’s strengths. For me, being an all-rounder, it’s been an advantage because if I don’t do well with the bat, I can compensate while bowling. If I don’t do well in bowling, I can do it with the bat.
What has been coach Bharat Arun’s advice to you?
He has been the backbone of the team. He is been supporting everyone, giving confidence to every player. So, he was telling everyone to keep the game simple and concentrate on the basics; do whatever they knew in the game.
How did the interaction with Sachin Tendulkar, just before the tournament, help?
It was very inspiring for everyone. It was everyone’s dream to interact with Sachin. So it was really helpful for us. He told us stay together under pressure. During the match also we were telling each other to stay together [and that] the pressure cannot get to us.
Who is your favourite senior cricketer?
Rahul Dravid. The interaction with him was the best I would say because he has been my idol.
What will you do with the Rs.20 lakhs prize money?
No idea (laughs).
Going ahead what is your plan?
There will be so many things coming after this, but I just want to take it one step at a time. I want to concentrate on my basics and learn every day, so that everything else takes care of itself. I just want to improve and play and give my 100 percent.