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Grab this opportunity, says Dilip Vengsarkar and Ajinkya Rahane to Dadar Union lads

Former India skipper Dilip Vengsarkar and Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane have advised Mumbai-based U-19 batsmen Yashasvi Jaiswal and Divyansh Saxena to grab the opportunity and do not play under pressure when they represent the country at the U-19 World Cup in South Africa starting
January 17.

Time to raise the bar

Dadar Union’s Jaiswal and Saxena were felicitated by Rahane in presence of Vengsarkar and former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar at the club’s ground in Matunga yesterday. “It is a great opportunity for both. They are excellent players. They have scored big runs and got selected on merit. They have reached a stage where they have to raise their bar. You have to grab the opportunity with both hands and do extremely well…that’s very important,” said Vengsarkar, who handles the affairs of Dadar Union, an institution he took pride in representing throughout his career.

Jaiswal and Saxena scored 146 and 45 respectively in two matches during the recently-concluded five-match one-day series against Afghanistan.

Citing his own example, Vengsarkar recalled. “I was captain at school level and the Bombay University team, but when I was picked for Bombay in 1974, I didn’t get to play a single game that entire season. I got an opportunity after Eknath Solkar got injured. I played the Irani Cup match [Bombay v Rest of India] and scored a hundred [110]. There was no looking back for me after that.

“These boys should do the same thing. It’s very important to deliver at a big event. Everyone will be watching you,” said Vengsarkar, who made his Test debut in New Zealand in 1976.

Attitude, hard work pays

Ajinkya Rahane asked the duo to stay away from the weight of pressure. “Don’t take any pressure. Such events motivate and inspire us to do well for our country. There is no need to change your game. There is always pressure to play well at big events, but it’s important to take one game at a time and you will definitely achieve your goal.

“Hard work and attitude are very important in cricket. Success will come and go but attitude and hard work will consistently be with you,” said Rahane, who has led India in two Tests.

The duo soaked in the advice from Vengsarkar and Rahane. “There will be pressure as India are always favourites at the U-19 World Cup. It is important to keep things simple and focus on the basics,” said Saxena.

“As defending champions, there will be pressure from the media and fans to defend the title, but I will try to stay focussed on the tournament,” said Jaiswal.

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