After a successful ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup campaign in New Zealand, Prithvi Shaw and company along with the entire support staff returned to the homeland on Monday (February 5).
Addressing the media conference, India U-19 coach Rahul Dravid looked visibly glad for his wards’ performance throughout the showpiece event. However, he conceded that the eventual U-19 champions did not play its number one game in the final. The Boys in Blue defeated the Australia U-19 team in the final by 8 wickets with 67 balls to spare.
"I feel proud for these boys as they get to wear a World Cup winner's medal. But I don't think we played our number one game in the final but we got the result we wanted," Dravid told reporters.
India U-19 side remained unbeaten throughout the Youth World Cup. They have brutally thrashed their opponents in all aspects of the game. Taking into account India’s dominance, Dravid stressed on the planning and process of developing players.
"The real satisfaction is about the whole process that was followed in the last 15 to 16 months. The planning and preparation of developing players is a good process we have put in place. We need to keep refining and developing this process,” the batting legend said.
"As kids, they have had experiences which should hold them in good stead for an entire lifetime. To play in front of big crowd, matches which are televised and play a high-pressure final is something huge," he added.
Dravid also acknowledged the awe-inspiring reception which the Boys in Blue have received upon their arrival at Mumbai airport.
"The fact that they have got this reception and they are fronting up to the media is a big experience for these boys. But the real test begins now and I have spoken to the boys about that.
"From the team that won the 2012 World Cup, only one boy has played a few matches for India. So it is important that these boys continue to work hard and eventually go on to play for India and do well," Rahul said.
It was India’s fourth U-19 World Cup title, the most by any cricket playing nation. They had earlier won this coveted title in 2000, 2008 and 2012.
Talking about his journey from being a normal Mumbai cricketer to the leader of a world champions side, India U-19 skipper Prithvi Shaw said: "It wasn't easy for me as I used to stay in Virar and I thank my dad for taking me everywhere. Those were difficult days but when you work hard to get something it is very satisfying.
“I don't have the words to express what I am feeling I just want to thank everyone for keeping their trust in me and the team. It is all about the kind of experience you garner over the years, tend to make a difference in the way you play at the top level,” he explained.
India had all their bases covered in the Youth World Cup with the bowlers picking up 60 wickets in 6 matches while batsmen piling up runs consistently. The No. 3 batsman Shubman Gill was adjudged ‘Man of the Tournament’ for his 372 runs.