Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Feb 2018 12:28:59

A DECADE ago Virat Kohli had experienced the thrill of holding aloft the Under-19 World Cup as captain. When, as the skipper of senior team, he went on to pass a few tips to Prithvi Shaw’s bubbling group before the start of this edition of the World Cup,Kohli returned a pleasantly surprised man. He was floored by the confidence level of the young bunch. “You’ll see many people making a strong statement for themselves much earlier than we all did,” Kohli had said in amazement. The statement the Boys in Blue made on Saturday by thrashing Australia to win the U-19 World Cup has sent solid waves of bright Indian future across the cricketing globe.

To say India emerged as deserving winners in the event held in New Zealand would be an understatement. Hardly a team has stamped its authority in such powerful manner on a colts’ cricketing event. Since first match where the Indian boys pummelled Australia by 100 runs to the eight-wicket canter in the final against the same opposition cricket saw the emergence of a new belief and rocksolid confidence of Indian junior cricketers. Rarely one sees such a clinical demolition of opponents by a young group of players.

Hats off to Prithvi Shaw and his team for giving India their fourth U-19 World Cup title. They strutted as champions and lifted their chunk of gold with elan. When you go for a combo of raging desire and sturdy work ethics it always results in an unprecedented high. The fiery young group under Shaw had the big wings of Rahul Dravid’s discipline and ethics. A quintessential team man that he is Dravid was prompt to share the credit with the team.

Dravid is the best thing to have happened for Indian juniors. His willingness to groom the young and raw talent has put the future of Indian cricket in the most safe hands. Tender care and following the ethical path are two things the youngsters need to learn. Who else than Dravid to teach them life!India’s supremacy, that too in a foreign land, is another testament to the thoughtful handling of junior cricket by the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The Board has chalked out purposeful programmes for the feeder line and pumped in the right amount to sustain it. The rewards are coming.