India’s under-19 cricket World Cup in Townsville, Australia yesterday will go down as the most memorable of three Cup wins at this level. That it took place on the same day as the senior team’s innings victory over New Zealand is only one of them.
That the triumph of the colts was achieved on the hard and at times, bouncy surface should be good reason to pull out the extra praise brush for Unmukt Chand’s boys who turned men in a cricketing sense. It’s never easy when one is playing overseas and certainly not in Australia where the conditions are as intimidating as the opponents.
It was not a high-scoring affair with the hosts restricted to 225 by the Indians, but with smaller totals come perils and roadblocks. India had their share of them, but the good sign was the two partnerships that came in more than handy to beat Australia in their backyard. The second, an unconquered one between Chand and Smit Patel was a tribute to their spirit and spark. We must not forget the good performances of the bowlers especially Sandeep Sharma, who claimed four wickets for 54.
The year 2012 will be known for the senior team’s 0-4 defeat in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. It will also be famous for the under-19 team’s triumph in the same land.
Indian cricket must cash in on this win. The young turks need to be given opportunities on a bigger stage, but they also must be counselled when it comes to dealing with financial offers in the Indian Premier League.
Never should these young men lose sight of the fact that a smaller group of cricketers are out in the cold, serving their respective banned sentences for indulging in unholy money talk and encouraging spot fixing offers.
Well done, India, but lessons should be learnt even in glory.