19-yr-old Chandigarh opening batsman,Manan Vohra,wants to do well for India,U-19 team in the upcoming Asia Cup to be held in Malaysia,starting from next week. While speaking with Sportline,Manan talks about Yuvraj Singh being his hero,how important will be the U-19 Asia Cup for him and how good performances at the junior level will help him reach at the top level
Ever since he could remember,Yuvraj Singh,the dashing cricket superstar from Chandigarh,has been Manan Vohra’s cricketing idol. But over the last few months,the urge to repeat the southpaw’s performances on the cricket field has become stronger for Manan. Watching Yuvraj’s struggle with cancer,and the subsequent recovery and rehab,has made it possible for Manan to imbibe the willpower and determination which his role model possesses.
Manan has been selected in the India U-19 team for the Junior Asia Cup,and maybe the World u-19 Cup ,which at present looks a big possibility. At Bangalore for the preparatory camp,Manan met Yuvraj who was there at the NCA for his own rehab. The inspirational words from Yuvraj have made Manan more hungry for success: “Yuvi paaji’s career is in itself a learning school for any young cricketer. And the way he led the Indian team to the WC was commendable despite the fact that he was having health problems during that time. It was so motivating to see him train after he fought with cancer for so many months. He inspires me to excel in life and also face tough times with a smile on the face. He told me that the wickets in Malaysia (Asia Cup) will be batsman friendly,so I should be alert and stay at the wicket for a longer time in order to pile big scores. I will pay heed to his advice and work on that.”
In the Asia Cup,India are pitted against teams like Pakistan,Sri Lanka,Bangladesh and Nepal.
Earlier,Manan was part of the Indian U-19 team that beat Australian Colts to clinch the quadrangular cricket series in Australia. Speaking about the importance of the Asia Cup exposure at this point in his career,Manan felt,”It is good that I have got plenty of chances to play for the Indian U-19 team in the last one year. I think it is a tremendous platform for any young cricketer to be playing against best international sides. I know the wickets and the conditions will be different in Malaysia as compared to Australia. I want to use this exposure to the optimum and make room for myself at the big stage in the coming years.”
The Indian Colts attended a ten-day conditioning camp at NCA Bangalore under coach Bharat Arun and will fly to Malaysia on June 20. After the Malaysian sojourn,the Indian U-19 team will take part in the U-19 World Cup to be held in August in Australia.
Manan who made his Ranji debut for Punjab in 2011,idolises Sachin Tendulkar as well. When asked if he see himself following on the footsteps of players like Virat Kohli,Ravindra Jadeja and Irfan Pathan who excelled at the U-19 level before making it big at the international level,Manan was quick to reply,”These players have shown and proved that exposure and reckoning at the junior level always help you reach at the top. I also think on the same lines and it is very pertinent for me to do well at this level in order to seize an opportunity at the national level.” Before heading to Bangalore,Manan also had words of wisdom and guidance from his guru Yograj Singh,who encouraged Manan to play his natural attacking game in Malaysia and keep himself mentally sound.
Also Manan and captain Unmukt Chand who open the innings,are the USP of the Indian team. Not only are they the best of buddies,but they are fabulous with the wooden willow at the ground. Manan,said,”Unmukt and I have played lot of junior cricket together in our early years. We share a good rapport. We understand each others game very well. I am looking forward to open the innings again with him during the Asia Cup. We have been practising with the white balls under the lights also,as we will have few day and night matches there. Moreover,we have never faced the Pakistan team in the past,so it would be a challenge to take on their fast bowlers. I am keeping my fingers crossed,” concluded Manan.