“I have done my homework pretty well” – Shivam Mavi

Shivam Mavi, a 19-year-old all-rounder from Noida, is part of the Indian Cricket Team for the upcoming Under-19 World Cup. Mavi, a medium pace bowler and a right-handed batsman, is geared up to let his bowling do all the talking in New Zealand. In an exclusive interview with Mohd Asim, he revealed about his preparation, plans and how Rahul Dravid has played a key role in making U-19 team a competitive one. Here are the excerpts

The U-19 team is going to New Zealand. Do you think it is the toughest place to succeed as a cricketer?

Conditions in New Zealand are not easy but we have prepared ourselves for all sort of challenges. We as a group is taking the upcoming U-19 World Cup seriously and there is no way we would let our fans down.

Can India bring back the U 19 World Cup this year?

We are a core group of strong minded cricketers, who have gelled well. The focus is on performance and if we are able to execute our plans properly, there is every chance of returning back with the World Cup trophy.

Last time the Indian team played in the U-19 World Cup, they finished as runners-up in 2016. Does that put an added pressure on you?

There is no way we are going to bog down under pressure thinking about the past. The Indian team played really well in 2016 and now it’s our duty to go one step ahead of them.

Apart from India, which team has a chance of performing well in the World Cup?

Sri Lanka and Australia have match winners in their side and these two sides can be dangerous on any given day.

Tell us about your preparation for the U-19 World Cup?

Our coach Rahul Dravid took us to Alur, a place located on the outskirts of Bangalore for the training camp. The reason was to counter New Zealand like conditions as the ground is opened from all sides and the wind which blows there gives bowlers a chance to sniff through the defence of batsmen. It was an ideal way of learning the process, which we are supposed to implement in New Zealand.

You are a fast bowler. How tough is to adjust on the New Zealand pitches?

Rahul Dravid has advised me to pitch the ball up in order to extract the movement, which is on offer in New Zealand. I have done my homework pretty well and now all depends on match day performance.

New Zealand have shortest boundaries. Have you done some special preparation to counter it?

Our practice sessions were organized keeping in mind the shorter boundaries. The boundary ropes in Alur were brought in on instruction of Rahul Dravid and this has helped every member of the team.

How helpful has been Rahul Dravid?

From sorting our technical issues to motivating us, Rahul Dravid has played the most important role in our U-19 World Cup journey so far and now its upto us to make him proud.

How is Prithvi Shaw as captain?

He is special and the way he leads is something to look at. Prithvi Shaw is a talented batsman, who has already made a mark for himself in domestic cricket and has the potential to be a great leader in future.

Who is your idol and on whom do you model your game on?

I have always admired Dale Steyn for his never say die attitude.

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