“ We have worked on all aspects of the game and players are really looking forward to give their best at the World Juniors. We had a training camp in Chennai, which was beneficial for all players.”
Speaking on improving mental aspect of the game,Cyrus said: “It is about believing in your instincts when you are facing three game points or match points. We have match play sessions where we tell players that you are 10-7 down, and ask them to react accordingly. It helps them in actual match situations as well.”
“There is no doubt it will be a tough tournament. We were happy with Kush Kumar’s exploits last year where he won the bronze. Don’t be surprised if we exceed that this year.”
India at full strength for the World Juniors
A set of new faces mostly but bright talents will represent India in the WSF World Junior squash championship which will be hosted by the Dutch Squash Federation at Eindhoven in Netherlands from July 26th to August 4th. With a bunch of 11 players, six of them girls, India will be in full strength at this Championship which will witness team competition for girls and individual events for boys and girls.
The Indian squad comprises Adya Advani, Harshit Kaur Jawanda, Akanksha Salunkhe, Nikita Joshi (team and individual), Sunayna Kuruvilla, Jui Kalgutkar, Velavan Senthilkumar, Adhitya Raghavan, Sandeep Ramachandran, Vikas Mehra and Aishwarya Singh (all individual only).
Officials accompanying the squad are national coach Cyrus Poncha, Bala Murugan and Surbhi Mishra.
India’s best show in this Championship was in 2009 in Chennai when the team consisting of Anwesha Reddy, Anaka Alankamony, Dipika Pallikal and Surbhi Mishra finished third. At the last championship, two years ago, the Indian girls had finished seventh overall.
Considering that only Harshit has the experience of having played in the world championship the side is short on experience but Poncha said there was depth in the talent overall and is confident that the girls will come up with an improved show.
Adya was the winner in the ISA junior open held in Chennai recently and this Delhi girl has in her to trouble the best. Harshit finished runner up in the senior nationals held in Thiruvananthapuram and winner Joshna Chinappa herself spoke highly of this reigning junior national champion. Akanksha is known for her steadiness while Nikita is highly capable player.
In the individual phase much focus will be on the boys where Velavan Senthilkumar will be in focus. The ISA junior open winner is a much improved player of the ISA. Adhitya and Sandeep have showcased their fighting qualities. Overall each player seems to have a point to prove and that in a nutshell reflects the buoyancy in the squash scenario in the country.