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ICC U-19 World Cup: Yuvi fan Abhishek Sharma wants MS Dhoni’s finishing skills

Abhishek Sharma, part of Indian cricket team at the ICC cricket U-19 World Cup, says he looks up to Yuvraj Singh but wants to achieve the finishing skills of MS Dhoni.

cricket Updated: Jan 18, 2018 22:31 IST
Sidharth Gulati
Sidharth Gulati
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
ICC U-19 World Cup,Abhishek Sharma,Yuvraj Singh
Abhishek Sharma is part of the Indian cricket team at the ICC cricket U-19 World Cup.(Twitter)

India U-19 all-rounder Abhishek Sharma said they cannot afford to take any team lightly in the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup after what transpired in the Asia Cup last year.

The Rahul Dravid-coached side suffered shock defeats against Nepal and Bangladesh to get knocked out in the group stages of the Asia Cup. However, they’ve shown tremendous improvement with comprehensive wins over Australia and Papua New Guinea in the World Cup. With one more game to go before the quarterfinals begin, Abhishek made it clear that the team is in no mood to ease up against Zimbabwe.

READ | ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup: India rout Australia by 100 runs after Prithvi Shaw heroics

“We committed a mistake (in Asia Cup) but this time we are fully ready. We’re concentrating on every team but it’s important to work on our strengths. We want to dominate. We have played some very good cricket so far,” he said in an interview.

Hailing from Punjab, Abhishek Sharma rose to fame when he lifted the Raj Singh Dungarpur award for being the highest scorer (1200 runs) and the highest wicket-taker (57 scalps) in the Vijay Merchant Trophy (2015-2016). Also, he led the India U-19 team to Youth Asia Cup glory in Sri Lanka in 2016.

READ | ICC U-19 cricket World Cup 2018: Top five Indian players to watch out for

A left-handed batsman and left-arm orthodox, Abhishek’s 8-ball 23 and 1/33 proved instrumental in India’s 100-run win over Australia in their first game of the tournament at the Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui.

Asked how things have changed in the last couple of years, he said: “I’ve grown in confidence since captaining the side. Captaincy does not allow you to be complacent at any stage. It just makes you raise your own bar of performance. You want to be a better player. I’m really happy with my progress.”

“The dream is to win (the World Cup) and make it to the senior side. Hopefully, I’ll be able to achieve that,” he added.

He praised Dravid, saying the former India captain’s guiding ability is a boon for budding cricketers. “Rahul sir helped me a lot. He always tells me to convert my starts into big knocks. Batting at No. 5, 6 is a different task altogether,” he said.

Asked about his cricketing idols, he said: “Yuvraj Singh is one player I look forward to. Apart from him, I really admire MS Dhoni. I’m a big fan of his finishing skills.”

First Published: Jan 18, 2018 20:24 IST