Ishan Kishan relishes the pressure of expectations
India Under-19 captain Ishan Kishan has said that he is enjoying the expectation on him to win the trophy, something Virat Kohli had done in 2008 and Unmukht Chand four years ago. He has said that he finds inspiration in the fact that his team has plenty of allrounders and batting depth.
India are one of two teams to have won the title thrice; Mohammad Kaif had first lifted the trophy in 2000. Australia are the other team but they have pulled out of this year's tournament, which makes India's job easier, as they were drawn in the same group.
"In 2008 and 2012 India won the Under-19 World Cup. There's been a four-year gap so people are expecting that from me," Kishan said." It is not that big of a pressure on me but I am really enjoying this moment.
"Strength of my team is that almost every batsman can bowl. We have a pace bowling attack that's good. We have a good fielding unit. Our batting goes till No 8, which is a plus point. It will help us in the matches."
Kishan said that he had picked MS Dhoni's brains when they spent time in the middle and the dressing room during a Vijay Hazare Trophy match recently. According to Kishan, Dhoni had taken interest in explaining about field positions, bowling changes, and handling pressure.
"It really inspires me a lot that MS Dhoni is from Ranchi and I am also from the same place," he said. "We were playing a match in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. We were in the same team. Whenever a wicket use to fall, he used to call me and told me what he did right then. If bowler is bowling with good pace, what field he can set in the slog overs. So it was about what I can do in pressure situations in the World Cup. It was quite valuable for me.
"When he is standing in front of you, you have to ask him questions. You know what type of captain he has been for India. I asked him what I can do in future matches in World Cup when something wrong happens."
"His words have a lot of value for us. His appearance is very important especially when we are in a pressure situation," Kishan said. We need his words to get out of pressure situations.
"His batting tips are very helpful. He knows everyone has his own style of batting," Kishan said." He is a legendary batsman for a long time in the Indian team. It is great spending time with him. When he talks to us at a time of pressure, it gives us a lot of relief. I don't remember any single line but most are very helpful."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84