New Delhi: At the end it was yet another convincing and comprehensive victory, as Prithvi Shaw and his boys romped home against Australia in the final of the U-19 World Cup. The victory, an unprecedented fourth for the ‘Boys in Blue’ once again establishes India’s supremacy at this level.
Not only were the Indians ruthless, the professionalism with which they played showcased why many consider India’s cricketing future to be bright. The U-19 World Cup has given India several stars over the years, the biggest of them being current Indian captain Virat Kohli, who had led the U-19 team to World Cup glory as well.
While India has been the strongest nation at this level, one cannot ignore the efforts put in by one of Indian cricket’s legends to make the colts world beaters with a difference. Rahul Dravid in his role as coach of the team failed at the final hurdle in 2016, but has delivered the Cup this time around.
Former Indian U-19 World Cup winning captain Unmukt Chand believes that this victory had Dravid’s signature all over it, as he hailed the momentous win during a chat with CricketNext.
“Rahul Dravid is a gift for all the youngsters. His deep insight about every player’s game is something that is going to help these youngsters and all those under the stalwart’s tutelage. This was a professional performance from the boys and Dravid is the one responsible for it,” Unmukt said during a telephonic conversation.
Unmukt Chand himself had scored an unbeaten ton in the final of the 2012 World Cup, the last time the blue brigade won the trophy, that triumph too came against the Australians. The talented batsman though feels this is just the beginning for the young stars.
“Winning the World Cup is a great high and these boys deserve all the attention that they will get. Many of them have already been rewarded with IPL contracts. But the real Test will be when they play their first domestic season. They need to take it forward from there. I wish each one of them the very best.”
Unmukt hailed the BCCI’s efforts in promoting the game at the grassroot level for India’s strong show at global age group tournaments.
“I think the BCCI is doing a great job in promoting the game in the country. Be it U-19 or any other age group, we have tournaments and guidance in place to groom talented youngsters. The National Cricket Academy has also been a huge help for all young cricketers,” the Delhi batsman, who guided his team to Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy recently, told Cricketnext.
While there were a few cricketers who caught Unmukt’s eye with their performance, he wasn’t ready to divulge the names, maintaining that a World Cup can only be won through teamwork.
“I think all of them played their part in this great victory. There will always be standout performances but a team needs to fight as a group to win a tournament like this,” the right hand batsman signed off.