Buck gunning for World Cup glory
Leicestershire seamer Nathan Buck believes England Under-19s are in prime position and can prove a genuine threat heading into the World Cup in New Zealand.
Buck and England are due to take flight from the UK today as they head to New Zealand in time for the beginning of the World Cup, with two warm-up games on the agenda before Mark Robinson’s side take on Hong Kong and Afghanistan in the first two of their group games.
A crunch tie against holders India will be the final group game and Buck is optimistic that England can use the first two games to build momentum heading into the fixture against the reining champions on January 21.
He said: "The lads have been working hard and we all want to start playing now.
“Every game is important, you're playing for your country and everyone wants to do really well.
"There will be pressure for us to do well in a major tournament. But hopefully we can get out of the group and go from there.
"There's plenty of time to settle in and get prepared. Hopefully we can set a good platform in the warm-up games, win our first two group games and that would set up the India game nicely. However, we won't be complacent.
"India playing in New Zealand will be different for them but they are an excellent side. That's the beauty of a World Cup and we want to do ourselves justice.
“There are also two televised games in the group stages so people will be following us back home too which will be good.”
England’s recent tour to Bangladesh did not go entirely to plan in terms of results, although Buck made good progress and feels the side learnt enough collectively for it to be deemed as a success.
The youngster knows he only has one shot at an Under-19 World Cup but feels those past experiences - including both the Test and ODI series defeats in Bangladesh - will help him steady the nerves and ensure he produces his best performances on the world stage.
"Everyone learnt a lot in Bangladesh,” he said. “It was a good experience as a bowler. I should get a lot more help in New Zealand than Bangladesh.
"The ball did a bit for two or three overs out but that was about it.
"As a team, everyone wasn't firing to begin with. We had some good individual performances but it didn't click at the start of the tour.
“But we talked a lot and we worked hard and we won a couple of games when we started to fire together. That is a good sign."