India's under-19 cricketers will prepare for next month’s World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by having a three-day team bonding camp in the backwaters of Kerala, besides polishing their cricketing skill in Bangalore.
If the team management chose the Nagarhole jungles in Karnataka for the boot camp in 2012, this time it is the backwaters of Waynad, where a picturesque cricket stadium has been built. But team coach Bharat Arun, who had guided the team to World Cup triumph two years ago too, said that in Kerala the focus would entirely be on team bonding.
“We’ll have a three-day boot camp at Wayanad and we’ll go through the same process [adopted before the 2012 World Cup that Unmukt Chand’s team won]. We’ll be doing rappelling, trust-walk etc. there. Basically, the focus would be on team building, understanding each other in an environment that is non-cricketing, and where they get to know the other side of each other,” Arun, a former India fast bowler, told MAIL TODAY.
The team, which has been clubbed with Pakistan, Scotland, and Papua New Guinea in Group A, will have the camp from January 21 to February 8, and the boot camp will be part of this 19-day preparation. The World Cup will be played from February 14-March 1.
By a happy co-incident, much like in the days leading to the World Cup in 2012, when India won four tournaments, this time too the team has won four tournaments/series. Further, captain Vijay Zol is in tremendous form. Besides Zol, Akhil Herwadkar is the other player who’ll be playing his second successive World Cup.
Arun, who has been with the team all along, also pointed out that the World Cup-bound Indian players got a feel of the pitches and conditions in the UAE this month when they won the Asia Cup.
“This win is one of the motivating factors. We know the areas we need to work on — and what our strengths are — and we’ll be doing that during the camp. The biggest challenge in the UAE will be to understand the conditions and adapt. The focus of the Bangalore camp will be towards that,” he said.
“The boys have done exceptionally well so far. That has put them in good stead. But we never thought about the outcome of any of these four tournaments. We laid down the processes, we tried to follow the process, we focussed only on the process, and we’ve been pretty comfortable with that,” said Arun. “This team started its journey in Australia and they have done well. That they’ve played the Asia Cup in the UAE will be an added advantage.”
During the team’s camp at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), Bangalore, a former player of repute, possibly Rahul Dravid who lives in the city, could be invited to give a pep talk to the players.
“The focus of the NCA camp would be on clearly defining the roles for each and every member. We [coaching staff] will help them to arrive at the process to achieve the roles that they are expected to do and work for achieving those processes,” said Arun.
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