| On Updated : Dec 26, 2019 8:12 PM IST

Rohit Sharma has a special message for India U-19 captain Priyam Garg

As the Priyam Garg-led India’s U-19 side gets ready for the U-19 World Cup campaign which begins in South Africa from January 12, India’s limited-overs vice-captain, Rohit Sharma hopes the Indian young guns to defend the title.

“Our team looks very strong as always. We won the cup the last time. I wouldn’t say that we will win this year as well. I am sure about one thing, they are going to play really hard. They have got great coaching staff. Of course, it’s a big platform and in big platforms, the Indian team generally tends to do well. I hope they bring the Cup back home,” Sharma said on Thursday.

Rohit shares his U-19 experiences

India’s limited-overs team vice-captain, who interacted with the young trainees at the Rohit Sharma-Cricket Kingdom Cricket Academy at the Islam Gymkhana ground, also admitted that for youngsters, it’s important to be ‘true to the game’.

“That’s the most important thing. At this age, it’s hard to understand those things but as one of the members who have gone through the ranks, I keep telling them to be true to yourself. Be true to the game. There are no shortcuts,” Sharma said.

Being a part of the India U-19 team, which played the World Cup final against Pakistan in 2006, Sharma understands that it is not easy to defend a title. India had won U-19 World Cup in 2018 under Prithvi Shaw. But he believes that with a strict routine, these youngsters can do the job as well.

Rohit backs youngsters to play fearlessly

“There is nothing harm in playing big shots, trying to play a flamboyant cover drive. When we were growing up and used to play shots in the air, we were taken out of the nets, which was not right because eventually, you want the results,” said Rohit.

“If the guy is giving you results by playing the big shots, there is nothing wrong with that. As a young kid, growing in this generation, you want to play shots. You want to look good while batting but again it is very important what they think of their game and what understanding they have about the game, I would encourage that to play shots if they want to but at the same time they need to understand that they need to produce results, that’s the game. You score 100 off 50 balls or 200 balls, it doesn’t matter, it still is a hundred. I mean if the guy is confident in his skills, I would back that skill. There should not be any restriction on how these young players want to bat. They should be allowed to bat freely, that’s how they will produce results”, he added.

Rohit also emphasized that backing the young players is important to make them confident about their game.

Midhun M Menon @Mid_On_

An engineer who watches, plays, and writes cricket. Out here to tell you interesting stories from 22 yards from the perspective of a 22-year-old guy.