Under-19 World Cup – Messages from Virat Kohli, Joe Root and others lift India and England squads ahead of final



Tom Prest and Yash Dhull reveal details of inspiring conversations with their seniors ahead of the big match

Messages from the players’ senior counterparts have lifted the mood of both camps ahead of Saturday’s Under-19 World Cup final. Virat Kohli interacted with India’s players, while a host of big names – “Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Saqib Mahmood, quite a few,” according to England captain Tom Prest – did their best to gee up England’s Under-19s.

“They were saying how impressed they have been with us and proud of what we have done getting to our first Under-19 final in 24 years,” Prest said in his pre-final press conference. “It’s amazing to know they have been watching and following from whatever they have been doing.”

Prest said England’s Under-19s have looked to emulate the senior team’s style of play in white-ball cricket right through this World Cup.

“Yeah, we’ve tried to play that attacking brand of cricket that Eoin Morgan instilled in that squad,” he said. “Whether that is with the bat, ball or field, we always try to take the positive option. That was one of the messages they were saying in their video they sent this morning – to not back down from the big occasion in the final and still play with that positive intent.”

The former England offspinner Graeme Swann, who was part of the side that won the Under-19 World Cup in 1998, is a member of the commentary team now. He also had some words of advice for the England players.

“[Swann spoke about] How big momentum is in these tournaments and to not get complacent,” Prest said. “He said in our game against Canada, we won it convincingly but our last ten overs looked a bit slack because we knew we had already won the game. Hearing that from him that it didn’t look great from the outside gave us a kick in the right direction that we can’t get complacent regardless of the stage or situation of the game.”


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