ICC U-19 World Cup 2018: India U-19 fielding coach Abhay Sharma says 'no curfews' were put on the youngsters

Rahul Dravid may be a strict disciplinarian but the victorious India U-19 team was given sufficient freedom during its month-long stay in New Zealand, revealed fielding coach Abhay Sharma.

PTI, Feb,06 2018

Kolkata: Rahul Dravid may be a strict disciplinarian but the victorious India U-19 team was given sufficient freedom during its month-long stay in New Zealand, revealed fielding coach Abhay Sharma.

India lifted a record fourth Under-19 World Cup after an eight-wicket rout of Australia in the final and stayed unbeaten in the tournament.

It may have looked a walk in the park for the the Indian team but there was meticulous planning behind the team's success.

File image of the India U-19 team. Image credit: Official Facebook page of Indian Cricket Team

File image of the India U-19 team. Image credit: Official Facebook page of Indian Cricket Team

"There was no curfew on them. It was not like a military regime. We just wanted to make them aware what's important in a friendly atmosphere," the fielding coach told PTI.

"A lot of thought was given to minimise distractions and educate them to achieve their goals. The key was to stay humble always — be it in a loss or win. If you stay humble, you will become balanced. All these rubbed off on them and you saw the final product."

Describing Dravid as superhuman, Sharma said: "I've been working with him for last three years and he's given me a complete freehand.

I'm really happy that he has chosen me."

The preparation had begun about 14-16 months in advance as Sharma said he must have seen more than 35 boys before picking the final squad.

And once they got their squad, the focus was on a fortnight long preparatory camp in Alur, in the outskirts of Bengaluru so that the boys stayed away from distractions.

"Full marks to the preparation. We invested a lot of time before the tournament. Every session in batting, bowling and fielding was specifically designed keeping New Zealand conditions in mind.

"There was focus on second attempt catches, direct hit, and on how to get into a position before releasing quickly. Sometime I used to show them so they would get charged up," he said.
After the camp, there was a four-day break before India left for New Zealand two weeks in advance.

The biggest compliment for Sharma came when Australia and Bangladesh coached praised India's fielding.

"There were high praises from the Australia and Bangladesh coach. They said that we have set the standard very high. It was like an eyeopener for them. That was the biggest compliment I had.

"Definitely the U-19 World Cup win will remain as one of the biggest moments in my career," the former Railways coach signed off.

Published Date: Feb 06, 2018 | Updated Date: Feb 06, 2018




Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5313 121
2 South Africa 4484 115
3 Australia 4174 104
4 New Zealand 3489 100
5 England 4829 99
6 Sri Lanka 4374 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 7594 122
2 South Africa 6911 117
3 England 6871 116
4 New Zealand 6550 115
5 Australia 6376 112
6 Pakistan 4877 96
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 3272 126
2 Australia 2513 126
3 India 3770 122
4 New Zealand 3013 116
5 West Indies 2538 115
6 England 2402 114