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IND Vs ENG, ICC U-19 World Cup Final: Virat Kohli Gives Pep-Talk To India U-19 Cricketers

Former captain Virat Kohli interacted with the U-19 cricketers ahead of the India vs England, ICC U-19 World Cup 2022 final.

Virat Kohli led India to their second ICC U-19 World Cup title in 2008.
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Before Saturday's ICC U-19 World Cup 2022 final, Indian colts interacted with the former national cricket team captain and batting great Virat Kohli. (More Cricket News)

The Yash Dhull-led India U-19 cricket team will take on their English counterparts in the title clash at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua. The India U-19 vs England U-19 match starts 6:30 PM IST (9:00 AM local). Star Sports Network will telecast the match live.

India are eyeing a record-extending fifth title in the junior cricket World Cup and Kohli is just the perfect person to give the youngsters the pep-talk ahead of the big finale. India defeated Australia by 96 runs in their one-sided semi-final match on Wednesday with the skipper Dhull scoring a majestic, run-a-ball 110.

For skipper Dhull, pressure is already there. Like one of this predecessors, the 19-year-old Delhi also bats at number 3 or 4 and is already known for his ability to build innings. That was on full display when he and his deputy stitched a 204-run stand to revive India from 37/2 in the semis.

After the match, he told ICC that they "saw a bit of movement initially and it was a pressure moment for us (because of two early wickets), so we accelerated the innings in the last 20 overs; increase the run rate, that was the mindset."

Kohli knows exactly how it feels to be on top of the world when you have barely attained the age to have a driving license. The 33-year-old also knows how it feels when criticism flies thick and fast when one doesn't perform as per potential after a global trophy.

For the uninitiated, 14 years ago, Kohli had led India to their second ICC U-19 World Cup title, beating South Africa on a balmy evening in Kuala Lumpur in 2008. It was the platform that catapulted him to global stardom. Now, he is sharing his experience, speaking about what it means to play a U-19 World Cup final.

The likes of Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Kaushal Tambe, Yash Dhull connected with Kohli, who's in Ahmedabad for the upcoming series against the West Indies, on a zoom call from their respective hotel rooms in Antigua.

"It was really good to interact with you virat kohli bhaiyya. Learnt some important things about life and cricket from you which will help us in getting better in upcoming times," wrote team's premier pace-bowling all-rounder Rajvardhan Hangargekar on his Instagram stories.

Whether it was BCCI secretary Jay Shah or NCA chief VVS Laxman, whoever requested Kohli to spare some time for the 'Baby Blues' did a remarkable job as there could be few who can tell what it takes to make the grade.

"Some valuable tips from the GOAT before the final," wrote spinner Kaushal Tambe.

India U-19 head coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar was also present listening intently to what one of the world's greatest batters had to say.

For the record, India are playing in their eighth final, and four on the trot.

One can rest assured it was more about the road ahead where a lot of them will fall by the wayside, some will remain confined to domestic level and only a select few with enormous talent and temperament will make the grade and represent India.

Kohli knows what are the perils of early stardom and how one can get his feet back to the ground. He has seen zenith and nadir and one can only hope this discussion will make these youngsters more rounded as sportsmen than they were before.

(With PTI inputs)

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