When India U-19 boys were heading for their World Cup 2018 campaign in New Zealand, the buzz was totally surrounded around the classy batsmanship of skipper Prithvi Shaw – the 18-year-old Mumbai teenager –who has already piled up 5 First-Class hundreds in 9 matches. Besides Shaw, Shubman Gill and Manjot Kalra had also caught everyone’s eye.
As expected all the three aforementioned batsmen did prove their mettle at the showpiece event. However, the contribution of pace trio – Shivam Mavi, Ishan Porel and Kamlesh Nagarkoti was humongous in India’s triumphant ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup campaign.
Owing to the combination of lively pace and top-class swing bowling, the Boys in Blue managed to bowl out their opponents in each of their 6 matches.
Covering the tournament as a commentator and hence observing the boys from close quarters, former India captain Sourav Ganguly has lauded the team for their utter supremacy. In particular, he was full of praise of the three fast bowlers.
“You look at the fast bowlers Nagarkoti, Mavi, Porel they all are hitting 140. They are just 17-18 years of age. I agree and understand that the bridge between the U-19 and senior level is a lot more and these boys will have to cover that bridge but they’ve got serious talent these young kids,” Ganguly told India Today.
The Prince of Kolkata attributed the success of Prithvi Shaw and his team to the top-notch domestic cricket structure back home.
“The system in Indian cricket is so good that it actually helps produce good cricketers. I must say over the last 10 years a lot of work has been done in creating a level where everybody improves. You go back to the states, U-19 level there’s so much of cricket and everything is well organised. You look at the international level, the number of tours they play. The A team goes away for so much time. They will also go to England in July when the senior team will be there. So it’s a system which produces players,” Sourav explained.
Ganguly also hailed India U-19 coach Rahul Dravid for guiding the young guns. He also lauded the contribution of support staff.
“The best thing was when Rahul was being interviewed after the match, the boys were jumping and celebrating. That’s the kind of freedom these young boys have. Not just Rahul, you got to give credit to Paras Mhambre and all the support staff,” concluded Sourav Ganguly.