New Delhi: A three-day boot camp that members of the Indian under-19 side attended in isolation in Nagarhole, a national park near Mysore, helped the players a great deal in building team spirit – and, eventually, win the under-19 World Cup.
Team coach Bharat Arun disclosed that self belief, communication, and controlled aggression were developed during the camp in which the players stayed at the Jungles Lodges &
He said things learnt at the camp came handy. “We spent three days before the start of the final two-week camp at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore. It was a team- building exercise. We wanted an atmosphere that had no cricket,” former India Test pacer Bharat told MAIL TODAY from Australia.
“We aimed to build three elements — self belief, communication, controlled aggression — and these eventually helped the players win the World Cup.” The other crucial aspect that saw the team emerge winners was the disciplined fielding and tight bowling while defending small totals, said Bharat, now head of the bowling unit at the NCA. “We fielded exceptionally well. It was the key to our success and the highlight of the triumph. We understood the importance of fielding early."
"The lads were athletic and had trained hard. Fielding is the key to India’s future,” he emphasised.
“There were no injuries throughout the tournament and the niggles were taken care of. Credit also goes to the trainers and physios who worked on players at the NCA and in Australia.” Since the batsmen failed to get going, the onus was on the bowlers to keep the team in the hunt.
“The win was the result of a combined effort, the hall mark of a team. The bowlers did a fabulous job. They defended totals of less than 200,” he said referring to the poor batting display.
In six matches India batted in the first four and posted only once a total of 250-plus.
They tallied 166/8 vs West Indies, 261/6 vs Zimbabwe, 204 all out vs Papua New Guinea, and 209/9 vs New Zealand in the semi- finals. There was only one century from India, but that came at the right time – aptly the most crucial time, in the final, by captain Unmukt Chand.
“We played four tournaments/ series in the last one year with almost the same team and that also helped.”
Mohammed Kaif, captain of India’s first under-19 World Cup triumph in 2000, was happy that India won their World Cup in 12 years, but warned against rushing them into higher grades of cricket.
“The final showed that they are maturing. The win has opened the door for greater opportunities. They’d now get to play Ranji Trophy and other tournaments. But they should not be rushed into the big league as that can backfire, at times,” Kaif told MAIL TODAY. “They should play first-class for two years or so to gain experience.”
Unmukt got full marks from Irfan Pathan, his Delhi Daredevils teammate and a former under-19 World Cupper.
“He showed his character today [Sunday] with his unbeaten 111. I have seen his attitude towards the game while representing Delhi Daredevils,” he said. “He’s got a big heart. His knock against the Mumbai Indians in the IPL showed that. He didn’t get bogged down. He has a bright future.”
Reproduced From Mail Today. Copyright 2012. MTNPL. All rights reserved.
Coach credits the boot camp
Team coach Bharat Arun disclosed that self belief, communication, and controlled aggression were developed during the camp.By Qaiser Mohammad Ali | Mail Today – Mon 27 Aug, 2012 1:03 PM IST
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