India U-19 team continue their dominance in the ongoing U-19 World Cup in New Zealand as they steamrolled arch-rivals Pakistan in the all-important semi-final by 203 runs on Tuesday (January 30).
It was India’s 5th consecutive win in the showpiece event. India U-19 team had registered mammoth victories in all 3 of their group matches against Australia, Papua New Guinea and Zimbabwe respectively. Moreover, they had thrashed Bangladesh U-19 in the quarter-final clash by 131 runs.
Observing the boys from the close quarters, former India captain Sourav Ganguly has lauded the team for their utter supremacy throughout the campaign thus far. In particular, Dada was in full praise of the hero the semi-final, Shubman Gill and termed him as a better batsman than Mumbai’s teenage prodigy Prithvi Shaw.
"I actually feel Shubman Gill is a better player than Prithvi Shaw. I feel he is the best player in this team. He is a bit like Brian Lara and Kane Williamson. Even Ishan Porel who plays for Bengal, created havoc with the new ball. He was injured at the start of the tournament and couldn't play for a week. It's great to see him back, get fit and come and bowl so well. They are special these kids," Ganguly told India Today.
Shubman has been in fine form in the U-19 World Cup. After registering the scores of 63, 90*, 86 in the previous games, Gill up his game by many folds in the all-important knockout encounter against Pakistan to notch up his maiden century (102*) in the Youth World Cup.
Ganguly also hailed the other team members and talked about their future.
"Not just Pakistan, every team has been decimated like this. Look at those two fast bowlers - Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti - bowling at over 140 at the age of 17-18. Anukul Roy of Assam has got a huge future, left-arm spinner Abhishek Sharma is also fantastic.
"Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw then there is the wicketkeeper Harvik Desai, these guys look much above the rest. It's also a direction for future that most of these boys will go on and play the top level in a few years time. The difference between India and the rest of the sides has been too much in this tournament," commented the Prince of Kolkata.
India will now take on Australia in the final on Saturday (February 3) and Dada is pretty confident that Prithvi Shaw and company will bring the cup home.
"The first match India beat Australia by 100 runs and they are playing again in the final. If India does not have a poor day then it is going to be a one-sided final again. I will be really surprised if anything wrong happens in the final. It will be very hard for Australia to beat India," Ganguly concluded.