Wednesday, February 7, 2018

India were best fielding unit in U-19 World Cup: Coach Abhay Sharma

Abhay Sharma
Abhay Sharma

Besides batting and bowling being the obvious areas of concentration, Team India also laid special emphasis on fielding at the recently concluded ICC U-19 World Cup. And according to fielding coach Abhay Sharma, champions Prithivi Shaw & Co were the best fielding unit at the tournament. "We had a great fielding unit, easily the best in the competition, but the proudest moment for me was when some of the opposition coaches came up and said that they want their team to match the fielding standards set by our boys," Sharma, 48, said at a press conference on the team's arrival in Mumbai on Monday after their victorious campaign in New Zealand.

Sharma explained some of the drills: "I was particularly working on the mindset of the boys. At this level, the players have all the necessary energy and skill, so you only have to give them confidence. You have to channelise that energy. We worked on focused exercises like target-hitting, second-attempt catching, reaction-catching and boundary rope-catching." And the results were there for all to see. Sharma said: "It's difficult for me to point out to just one fielding moment."

"Shubman's Gill catch against Pakistan in the semi-finals was brilliant, but throughout the tournament our boys took some beautiful catches. "There were catches by Prithvi Shaw in the slips, Shivam Mavi at the boundary rope, then there was Kamlesh's Nagarkoti run out, Harvik's Desai wicketkeeping, Shiva's Singh second attempt run out in the final after dropping a catch. All these efforts were memorable."

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