Captained by the talented Prithvi Shaw and coached by the legendary Rahul Dravid, the India U-19 team displayed a kind of dominance that is unparalleled when they won the title by beating Australia in the final in New Zealand.
The likes of Shaw and Shubman Gill piled on the runs, as did Manjot Kalra with a century in the final, but the surprise package came in the form Kamlesh Nagarkoti – the fast bowler is a rare breed in Indian cricket just like the kind of domination his side displayed. Nagarkoti, an army kid, clocked more than 140 kmph with relative ease during the World Cup.
In an interview to Mumbai Mirror, Nagarkoti opened up about his experiences in New Zealand.
Nagarkoti recollects when Dravid did not let them indulge their adventurous side. The fast bowler along with fellow pacer Shivam Mavi and Kalra were giving an interview atop a mountain in Queenstown and were tempted to indulge in “adventure activities there”, but the coach, Nagarkoti said, did not allow that.
“He said the tournament was going on, and there was no point in taking any risk,” Nagarkoti said. “He would allow us to do a few things here and there, but we had to be back in our hotel by a certain time.”
Nagarkoti further went onto add that they were in fact scared of Dravid and never thought of breaking the curfew he had put in place.
“Actually we were a bit scared of sir. And we thought we should not break the curfew, so we never did it. Honestly we didn’t. Well, we did think about it a few times but then we reasoned that ‘nahi yaar, sir would have had something in mind when putting a curfew in place, so let’s follow it’, adding that he hopes to take a late night stroll in Australia sometime in the future.”
The young fast bowler who will be part of the Kolkata Knight Riders in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League, also revealed that his first autograph was of Rahul Dravid’s when the team was together for the Asia Cup.
For the Jaipur boy, it his father’s words of compliment after the World Cup that is the most memorable memory.
Nagarkoti, like his other teammates are understandably excited about making their IPL debuts. “Manjot (Delhi Daredevils) was telling me ki bachke rehna, maarunga mere saamne aayega toh (Beware I will hit you when you come on to bowl at me). All of us have played against each other a lot and know each other’s games,” he said.