India's under-19 players are gearing up for their biggest test so far with the upcoming U-19 World Cup in Bangladesh, which starts on 27 January. There will be pressure on India, who alongside Australia, have been the two most successful sides in the competition, winning the title three times so far.
The competition, which comprises 16 teams, have been divided into four groups with India in Group D. The Men in Blue have found themselves in a tough group, which includes Australia and New Zealand as two other big teams while Nepal as the fourth team.
With only two teams qualifying from each group, India need to take all their group games seriously and finish the group in the top two position to qualify for the knock out stages.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan will captain India in the prestigious tournament with former India cricketer Rahul Dravid as coach. The India U-19 team have been doing quite well as they have won some series of late such as the tri-series featuring Sri Lanka and England. India have the much-needed players to win the fourth U-19 world Cup title.
Dravid hopes to see some of his players go on and represent India in the future and make a name for themsleves. Players such as Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja, who impressed during the competition in the past, found their way into the India senior team.
"They have potential and good young talent to perform well. Hopefully, they will grow as players and people and not just look at results. I hope they go on playing and represent the senior team and bring laurels for the country," IANS quoted Dravid as saying.
With Dravid as coach, these youngsters have found a perfect person to help them guide in the correct path at an early age. Dravid, who has a lot of experience when it comes to playing international cricket for India, can share his experiences and make these youngsters better players.
"For me coaching and mentoring at the U-19 level is really helping young people on their journey which I had experienced myself when I was at that age. It gives me a platform to share my experiences, some of the learning I had over 20 years in sport," said Dravid.
"To be able to help lot of young cricketers and fulfilling their dreams and making their journey possibly a little bit easier, it is sometimes a difficult, competitive, tough environment. It is really a fun part to coach a cricket team after I have retired."