Rohit Sharma, the India opener, believes that his country's U19 team is well-placed to defend the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup title in South Africa next month.
India, under Priyam Garg, have their sights set on a fifth title in the tournament, starting on 12 January. Rohit, who featured in the 2006 edition, backed the youngsters to come good.
"Our team looks very strong, as always," he said at an event in Mumbai. "We won the last time. I wouldn't say that we will win this year as well. [But] I am sure about one thing – they are going to play really hard. They have got great coaching staff.
"Of course, it's a big platform and in big platforms, India team generally tends to do well. I hope they bring the cup back home."
2⃣9⃣ days to go for @ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020!— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) December 19, 2019
India star batsman Rohit Sharma featured in the 2006 edition of the tournament. In six games, he scored 205 runs at an average of 41. pic.twitter.com/oZF5b89Wi3
Rohit, back in 2006, had made 205 runs at an average of 41 as India reached the final. Making his international debut a year later, he went on to become a prolific batsman for the senior team. The year 2019 was a particularly good one, as he found success across formats and finished as the highest ODI run-getter, with 1,490 runs, ahead of Virat Kohli.
Part of that success has been down to a firm belief in his own, distinct style of playing, which has helped him translate his success against the red ball as well, and Rohit shared the wisdom gained from those experiences with the future generation.
"As a young kid growing in this generation, you want to play shots, you want to look good and all that, but again it is very important what they think of their game and the understanding they have about the game. [There is no] harm in playing big shots, trying to play a flamboyant cover drive.
“As a kid, when we used to play a shot in the air, we were taken out of the nets, which I thought was not right, because eventually you want the results and what if the guy is giving you results by playing the big shots? There is nothing wrong in that.
"So I would encourage them to play shots if they want to, but at the same time, they need to understand that they need to be productive, they need to produce results, that’s the game."
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