Three of India U-19 cricketers hail from the Maximum City. Two of them - Yashasvi Jaiswal and Divyaansh Saxena - hail from the Dadar Union Sporting Club, one of the legacy clubs on Mumbai maidans. Ajinkya Rahane, a product of Mumbai’s local cricket culture himself, asked the youngsters to not be bogged down by the pressure of the big stage and stick to the roots.

“My message to the two and Atharva Ankolakar – don’t take any pressure. Events like these inspire us and we want to do well for our country. The way you have been playing (all along), play the same way and there is no need to change your game,” Rahane told both the youngsters after felicitating them at a function organised by former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar, a Dadar Union stalwart.

“Always remember that you have come from club cricket. Be true to the game. Attitude and hardwork is important, success comes and goes, but you will have to continue with hardwork and attitude.”

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Vengsarkar asked Jaiswal and Saxena, who listened to him attentively, to make the big stage count. “When you get it (opportunity) you have to grab it with both hands, that is very important. I remember I was captain of Bombay schools, Indian schools, Indian varsities but when I was picked for the Bombay team in 1974, I did not get a single game in the entire season and I was scoring,” he said.

“The next season I thought I will be scoring again, but Eknath Solkar got injured, I got to play the Irani Cup match and I scored a hundred and then I did not look back. The same thing should be done by these boys because there it is a very big event and it is important to deliver at a big event.”

Sanjay Bangar, whose five-year tenure as India’s batting coach came to an end recently, stressed on the hardships of the promising batsmen. “I have seen both these boys playing with my elder son and whenever possible when I used to go and watch selection matches, so I happen to watch both these boys and they have performed really brilliantly and have gone through hardships in life,” Bangar said.

“They have gone through various ups and downs, struggles and that’s what inspires each one of us. No matter how hard the way, if you have the will and desire, determination, you can create and chart your own court. So well done. It is a great platform you guys.”