India head coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar has urged his team to be natural and keep things simple as they prepare to face Australia in the final of the Under-19 Cricket World Cup at Willowmoore Park on Sunday.
"It keeps you honest (close finishes in big matches). It was a great match. South Africa challenged us all the way and were really good. Just be natural, keep it simple," he said in a video posted by ICC. India overcame the challenge from South Africa in a close contest.
"So as coaches, it comes down to sharing our experiences on how to handle certain situations because we have done it more often than them. They are still coming up in terms of experience. It is also about utilizing and considering their experience, what they have done on these pitches against good oppositions,"
"The combination of both does the trick usually. They know how to bat, bowl, field, are really good at it. They have all the attacking strokes. It is just about getting them to know what is the right decision, to handle certain situation or pitches. It is more mental and about decision-making," he added.
India and Australia are set to lock horns with each other for the third time in the history of U19 World Cup Final. Interestingly, Boys in Blue are yet to lose to Australia in the title clash. India and Australia are strong favourites to win the prestigious title this time as they have remained unbeaten in the ongoing edition of the U19 World Cup so far.
Hrishikesh on keeping player's emotions in control
The former cricketer asserted that coaches will try to keep player's emotions in control as much as possible.
"They will get overwhelmed. But it is expected from both the teams. Both are of same age, have played a similar kind of cricket. They will go through all those emotions. We will try to keep them in control and calm as much as possible. Once the preparation is done, you just need to have faith in them and let them do what they want to," the 49-year-old stated.
Kanitkar spoke about the mental abilities of the Indian players and how they have matured in that aspect as the tournament progressed.
"First thing is how far they have come in terms of their mental abilities, in terms of assessing what needs to be done when, what lengths to be bowled, what fields to have, when to attack or not with the bat. What sort of mind games, it is a department they have matured a lot," Kanitkar said.