Delhi lad makes it to Australia~~s U-19 squad

Published: Wednesday, January 31, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:An 18-year old New Delhi-born opener Kumar Sarna has made it to the Australian Under-19 squad for a five-match ODI series against Pakistan Under-19 in Brisbane during April.

The Delhi-lad had moved to Australia at the age of two before returning to India six years later only to head back down under at 12. The 18-year-old has also been selected for an under-18 squad in preparation for the ICC Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia to be held in February 2008.

Speaking to 'The Age', Sarna said he idolises Sachin Tendulkar and cannot forget the days he played cricket on the streets of Delhi. A disciple of Justin Langer school of opening batting, the right-hander described Tendulkar as the ''most elegant stroke player of his generation.'' Speaking of his experiences after emigrating to Australia, Sarna said he had little trouble adjusting to his adopted homeland and he was now focussed on making a mark in international cricket.

''I just fitted straight in I'd say, I didn't have much of a problem. If you are new from the subcontinent, I'd say you'd have some trouble. But I lived here for six or seven years and so I was never an outsider to what happens here. Pretty much I have lived all my junior years here,'' he said.

''I'd say you would find quieter kids from the subcontinent.

Naturally, they are a touch timid, some of them, and they would have some trouble -- Indian people, they like to let the bat do the talking or just take wickets and that will do the talking, that's what a lot of them believe in. They're not into sledging, the psychological stuff, they just like to show off their skill,'' he added as he explained how his approach to the game was different to that of players belonging to his country of birth.

Sarna's batting exploits in the past four years, earned him the the award for best junior player - with the opening bat spot in the Victorian under-19 team.

With an average of over 34 this season, Sarna is also planning a stint in England to hone his skills.

''Obviously like any cricketer, you want to take your game to the biggest level but right now my focus is to make runs in District (Premier) ones and soon, very soon, get a Victorian contract, because you want a base step to go higher from,'' he said.

''It'll be just a lot of match practice, I think. If you're a paid player, you are under pressure to make runs every game, so that's a good thing as well,'' he said.

The Squads

Australian U-19 squad for Pak tour: Shaun Austin, Daniel Burns, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Matthew Day, James Faulkner, Michael Hill, Phillip Hughes, Simon Keen, David Murphy, Dom OBrien, James Pattinson, Kumar Sarna and James Smith

The probables for World Cup (U-19): Shaun Austin, Isaiah Borgas, Daniel Burns, Tim Buszard, James Faulkner, Kane Harmsworth, Josh Hazelwood, Michael Hill, Phillip Hughes, Anthony Murphy, David Murphy, Dominic OBrien, James Pattinson, Kane Richardson, Sam Robson, Clive Rose, Kumar Sarna, James Smith and Jeremy Smith


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