Updated: May 11, 2018 1:45:21 am
India U-19 stars Prithvi Shaw and Manjot Kalra enjoyed a dream run in the under-19 World Cup held in New Zealand early in 2018. The exploits of the young Indian teens helped them bag lucrative IPL contracts with Delhi Daredevils in the 11th edition of the IPL. While Shaw led the team with great maturity, Kalra slammed a match-winning century in the final to help India lift a historic fourth U-19 World Cup title. However, life from junior cricket has gone one step ahead to the cauldron known as Indian Premier League. The 51-day long tournament will test the mettle of the young brigade as they go head to head with best cricketers in the world. But are they mentally prepared for the high-intensity games? Going by their confidence and attitude Shaw and Kalra are ready to grab the opportunities that come their way, which they know will be few and far.
It has only been a few days since the duo have joined the Daredevils camp but the U-19 World Cup winning captain says that it seems longer than that. “So far it has been really good. All these practice sessions are helping us come together as a group. It has just been 3-4 days we have been together but seems longer than that.” said Shaw.
From the erstwhile thought ‘process’ the Daredevils have opted to go with an aggressive combination of skipper Gautam Gambhir and coach Ricky Ponting. For now, it seems to augur well for the youngsters.
Reflecting on the interactions with the captain and the coach Shaw said, “I met Gambhir sir yesterday because he was not well before. He asked us about our experience in the World Cup. Ricky Ponting has been working with me for the past 3-4 days in the practice sessions. He is working hard with the team and we are looking forward to IPL.”
The former Australian captain also shared his wisdom on the shortest format of the game with the teenagers. “Ponting told us that in T20 cricket you got to be mentally prepared for whatever situations arise. He said T20 cricket is quite pacy and there is almost no time to settle down. He is preparing us for things he has already achieved in his career.”
Prithvi Shaw and Manjot Kalra were bought by DD for an amount of Rs 1.2 crore and Rs 20 lakh respectively; numbers few kids of their age even start to think about earning. However, the young Indian prodigies are aware that opportunities will be few but what will be crucial is gain valuable experience from the veterans.
Admitting that chances might be at a premium, the centurion in World Cup finals, Manjot Kalra said, “Senior players in the team will obviously get an opportunity. But it is not about getting chances to play, what is important that there will be a lot to learn.”
Echoing Manjot’s thoughts his U-19 captain joined in to say, “It does not matter whether we play or not. The aim is to give 100 percent whenever he gets a chance. Even if we are in the dugouts we will get a lot to learn.”
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