Australia’s Under-19 squad assembled together shortly before flying to the Caribbean, and despite a heavy loss in their warm-up match against India, captain Cooper Connolly is still highly confident of their further campaign.
Connolly is involved in his second Under-19 World Cup, having played as a 16-year-old in South Africa two years ago. Just weeks after that tournament finished, the pandemic took over the world and, from a cricket point of view, age-group competitions were suffered severly – Australia have not had any Under-19 fixtures since then. Ongoing border restrictions meant plans to have the squad all together under one roof before the tournament did not happen either.
However, that hasn’t affected Connolly from his aim to establish himself among the most highly regarded young players in the country; he has found a spot in the Perth Scorchers squad too. And although Australia were heavily beaten by India, Connolly stood out with 117 off 125 balls.
“Yesterday was a reality check for us against one of the stronger sides and maybe the favourite,” he said. “But I feel like we are in good shape for the first game.From that one I can take [the lesson of] not stressing out too much about playing and just trying to be myself in the nets,” he said. “I was getting really stressed out and agitated but I feel from that World Cup, from Macca [Harvey], I can take his coolness and his ability to win games by his captaincy.
“Back then I was a little, small 16-year-old that everyone didn’t really know, and since then [with] my mindset and power I feel like I’ve developed a lot over the last couple years working with Clint Heron my batting coach just to improve every area.
“From the last World Cup [my aim] was to just make this, I just looked forward to the opportunity I might get to play in two, then to get the captaincy and that’s unbelievable. I’m so proud of myself, mum and dad back home are really proud, I’m just ready to go and lead my country.”
Avishkar Govardhane is a Sports Editor and enthusiast, working here at Clout News covering the latest Cricket News.