Bangalore, Sep 7: Self-belief, communication and controlled aggression were the three key elements which helped India win the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in Australia. This was revealed by India's coach B Arun in an exclusive interview with Thatscricket on Friday.
Arun and the support staff motivated a bunch of talented boys to lift the trophy on August 26 by defeating hosts Australia in Townsville.
With just over two weeks since that memorable moment, Arun talks about where the journey began and how the team brought the back the Cup.
Excerpts from an exclusive interview:
Question: What were the key ingredients of India's Under-19 World Cup triumph in Australia?
B Arun: The fact that we already had a programme in place in the buildup to the World Cup helped. We played quadrangular tournaments and also the Asia Cup. Winning all three events gave us a lot of confidence. And with that the team got a tremendous self-belief. We had the same team in all tournaments and that journey culminated in World Cup glory. Communication, self-belief and controlled aggression were the three qualities which won us the World Cup. It was a fabulous journey for the boys.
Q: What was the talk in the camp before the final against Australia. Was there a huge pressure?
Arun: There would be pressure when you are playing final. We told them to embrace pressure. Concentrate on the process which was defined to them. When in pressure you have to stick to basics. You should not feel pressure but use it to your advantage. You should have self-belief. When in pressure, talk to your team-mates and laugh it off. We told them to go and enjoy (the game). They all had been communicating well and everybody was charged up. It was important to be focused on the job and they did it with controlled aggression.
Q: The team had a boot camp in Nagarhole wildlife sanctuary (about 221 kms from Bangalore) before the World Cup. How did that help?
Arun: Boot camp was important. The boys had been interacting during camps and matches. It was necessary for them to be in a non-cricketing atmosphere. That was out of the box thinking. We did certain activities in the jungle. Rappelling was one of them. Coming down from a 40-feet cliff (with the help of professionals) was not easy. Trust walking where all players were blind-folded with a leader (not blindfolded but communicating only with sounds) was good for bonding. It did help us.
Q: Is it necessary for these youngsters to guard themselves against Twenty20 cricket?
Arun: Every player looks to play in all forms of the game. They would like to excel in all of them. I think they are prepared for all the three.
Q: The U-19 World Cup winning players have spoken of the role of support staff which has helped in this triumph. Can you elaborate on that?
Arun: Yes, the support staff have done an excellent job. Sridhar, the fielding coach made India one of the best fielding sides in the tournament. It is a big achievement. Also, Sudarshan (trainer), Srinivas Rao (physio) and Sanju Singh (analyst, who is also a qualified level 3 coach) have played huge part (in winning).
Q: What next for you as a coach?
Arun: It is back to work for me. I am looking at the next World Cup. There will be lot of camps and will be back at National Cricket Academy (NCA).