Whenever someone is down, we all come together to lift them up: Dhull

Coolidge (Antigua), Jan 30 (Cricket News) India skipper Yash Dhull says the team stuck together to tide over a tumultuous phase and reach the semifinals of the ICC U-19 World Cup, following multiple COVID positive cases in the squad.

India barely managed to field a playing XI for their group match against Ireland after as many six players, the captain included, returned positive for the highly contagious virus.

"Our team combination has been very good and the boys are gelling well. Whenever someone is down, we all get together to bring them up. It is a lifetime experience here," Dhull said at the end of the match.

The team showed resilience in the face of adversity and kept winning their matches, the latest being the five-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

The return of five players after they had tested negative for the virus was a big boost fo the team ahead of the last-eight clash.

The four-time winners will face Australia in the semifinals on Wednesday.

Dhull thanked National Cricket Academy (NCA) head VVS Laxman for his guidance during the tournament. The former India batter has accompanied the team to the West Indies.

"The team is improving day by day. Laxman sir is giving his experience, gives us a lot of help in the middle. We will look at the semis on the day of the match depending on how the wicket is," Dhull said.

Before contracting COVID, the Delhi-based player showed his worth with a match-winning knock of 82 against South Africa in the team's opener.

Earlier, Dhull, along with five players, were forced to miss two group games after returning positive tests.

Player of the Match in the quarterfinal against Bangladesh, pacer Ravi Kumar ended with excellent figures of 7-1-14-3 on a tacky track as Bangladesh were all out for 111 in 37.1 overs.

In reply, India chased down the target in 30.5 overs with opener Angkrish Raghuvanshi's 44 being the top score.

"The plan was simple — to bowl tight lines and create pressure. Preparation was nice during the last few days. We spent a lot of time together and prepared well. It's been a good experience so far and we hope we can go all the way," Ravi said.

Skipper Dhull made 20 not out and his deputy Shaik Rasheed contributed 26. The victory was highly satisfying considering the youngsters came back without any training post recovery from COVID-19.

Also Read : U-19 WC: Herrmann approved as replacement for Stephenson in SA squad.

News Source : PTI


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