As social media went abuzz with the news of Nepal U-19 team defeating India colts in an Asia Cup encounter on Sunday, Monty Desai quickly changed his profile picture in WhatsApp.
The new picture showed the band of boys from Nepal celebrating their success, and in one corner stood Desai, with a smile on his face. After all, he too had a hand in Nepal’s historic win over the neighbouring nation.
READ: Spirited Nepal stuns India in U-19 Asia Cup
One of the most sought after cricket scouts, Desai was offered the role of Nepal U-19 team’s batting consultant a couple of months ago. And, ever since taking charge, his objective has been to bring the best out of the young guns.
“The feeling is the camp is unbelievable. They are feeling exactly the way we felt as kids when India won the 1983 World Cup. They love the game unconditionally,” Desai told Sportstar from Kuala Lumpur on Sunday evening.
In its sixth contest against India, this is Nepal’s first victory in any form of cricket. And, Desai admits that their target was to respond in the best possible way. “It was necessary, especially after the tough game against Bangladesh. We wanted to show courage against a relatively stronger team,” Desai said, explaining the team’s plan of action against the Rahul Dravid-coached India side.
Interestingly, Desai and Dravid have known each other for long. As the coach of Rajasthan Royals, Desai is well aware of the former India captain’s cricketing strategies.
Did that help in cracking the Indian code?
Desai, however, doesn’t think that way. “At this stage, you don’t look at strategies. It was more about ensuring that the players played to the best of their potential,” Desai said, adding: “But yes, we did think of adding an extra bowler who can also bat at No. 7. That helped us.”
READ: Prithvi Shaw excluded from Indian squad for U-19 Asia Cup
While the entire country is busy celebrating the victory, Desai believes this will boost up the team’s morale in the in the future. “This will boost the self belief for sure. We want to start getting better at responding to every new challenges—something we are getting better at,” the seasoned coach pointed out.
For tournament-favourite India, Sunday was a forgettable outing. But for the band of boys from Nepal, who came into the tournament as underdogs, this win has bolstered the confidence. And for that, they can’t thank an Indian enough!
Latest on Sportstar
- Spanish Grand Prix, Formula 1 Live updates: Verstappen leads Hamilton; Perez catching up with Russell
- Bangladesh calls up uncapped duo for Afghanistan Test
- French Open pair Kato, Sutjiadi disqualified after ballgirl hit
- Gundogan is HIM: Man City midfielder stakes claim to be best signing of Guardiola era
- Formula 1: Haas principal Steiner reprimanded over ‘laymen’ remark