The Boys in Blue have done India proud in not only winning the Under-19 World Cup but doing it in such style that all opposition got decimated. Being unbeaten in the championship in New Zealand, the juniors won the final almost without breaking a sweat. The way the young batsmen performed was revealing. They were well aware of what was needed, and their execution of the chase was flawless. Blossoming under Rahul Dravid’s tutelage, they showed cricketing maturity far beyond their years. The entire top order of skipper Prithvi Shaw, Manjot Kalra, who played the anchoring innings in the final, Shubman Gill, batsman of the series, and wicket-keeper Harvik Desai deserve high praise.
The fast bowlers and spinners were not far behind in performing consistently. The fielding may have sported some faults in missed catches, but the combination was so good that it gave coach Dravid something missing in his CV — a World Cup triumph. The quiet and efficient taskmaster wasn’t a member of the World Cup-winning Team India of 2011. He has been more than just a coach, he’s also been a mentor to the youngsters who taught them to think of life issues larger than the game. This triumph, on top of Team India’s comeback win in the third Test and early domination of the one-day series against South Africa, while remaining the top-ranked side in Tests and ODIs, is affirmation of the kind of cricketing talent available in India. All this is happening due to the players’ on-field efforts, while BCCI officials cling to their seats in defiance of the Supreme Court’s recommendations and orders.