England’s Under-19s are gearing up for the biggest game of their fledgling careers ahead of the World Cup quarter-final versus India.
The young guns will tackle India, victors at the event last time it took place, at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium tomorrow.
Skipper Will Rhodes is certainly encouraged by what he has seen so far, telling ecb.co.uk: “There is a good vibe among the team; the boys are in a good space and excited about our next new challenge.
“To be competitive against India we will need to nail our basics, carry them out successfully more often than they do, play with intent and enjoy the occasion.
“Up to now the players have contributed well; some have taken wickets when required and others have gone on to make big scores.
“This has helped me as captain to concentrate on my own game, where I have got a couple of scores and bowled some good spells.”
Ben Duckett is under no illusions about where the game ranks in terms of importance during his time as a cricketer.
“Everyone is excited about what will be the biggest match of our careers so far,” he enthused. “And the team morale is very strong.
“We understand that we will be the underdogs playing against India, who have two players playing in the IPL and are holders; however, if we play to our strengths we feel that we will come out on top.
“Even though we have qualified for the quarter-finals, we still feel that we have not played our best cricket yet.”
Joe Clarke echoed the sentiments of his team-mates, adding: “We are all excited about the match, although we know it is going to be tough and a big occasion.
“The team is in good spirits and are preparing well, giving us confidence going in to the match against India on Saturday.
“In the group matches leading to the quarter-finals the players have supported each other and every one of us has fought until the last delivery, which is exactly what we will do for a place in the semi-finals.”