The India Under-19 cricket team has made headlines by winning the ICC U-19 World Cup 2018. India thumped Australia by 8 wickets in the final clash at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui on Saturday (February 3).
Apart from applauding the Boys in Blue, the cricket fraternity is rightfully giving credit to the legendary mentor Rahul Dravid as well. Echoing everyone’s voice, former India opener Virender Sehwag has now stated that Dravid is currently the world’s best coach and is the most appropriate man for this job.
"In his 16 or 17 years career, Rahul Dravid never managed to get his hands around the world cup trophy, but as a coach, he has lived that dream with the help of this young U-19 team," Sehwag told India TV.
"Dravid is world's best coach at the moment and as a player, his records speak for themselves. He prepared his wards for the big game and taught him the nuances to handle the pressure of a big final," he added.
India U-19 side remained unbeaten throughout the Youth World Cup. They have brutally thrashed their opponents in all aspects of the game. While the Boys in Blue have recorded mammoth victories in all 3 of their group matches against Australia, Papua New Guinea and Zimbabwe respectively, they thrashed Bangladesh U-19 in the quarter-final clash by 131 runs before annihilating arch-rivals Pakistan in the semi-final by 203 runs.
When asked about the pressure of playing in World Cup, Viru said, "More than physical, it's the mental pressure which players need to absorb of playing the final of a world event. Every player who dreams of representing India has a long-live dream of winning the coveted world cup in his career."
Praising the ‘Man of the Match’– Manjor Kalra for his unbeaten hundred in the final against Australia, Sehwag said: "Congrats to Manjot Kalra for playing a match-winning knock in the WC Final. He emerged as a big-match player and proved his class at this level. We all were looking at Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill or Harvik Desai to score big in the final but it was Manjot who rose to the occasion."
"To get noticed at the top level, you need to convert your knocks into big hundreds. I believe a young player can only make a statement if he scores prolifically wherever he plays to put the pressure on selectors. Manjot did just that in the final vs Australia," he elaborated.
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. Sehwag also spoke about the pace duo of Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi.
"Both Nagarkoti and Mavi impressed me the most in their incredible speeds in this tournament. To constantly bowl over the 140-mark speaks a lot about the talent of these bowlers," Viru said.
"I also have them on my radar during the IPL Player Auction but their price went way beyond my budget. I believe IPL has benefitted a lot in preparing world class players for Indian cricket. Nagarkoti and Mavi have that calibre to go and become the Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra of tomorrow," he concluded.