The Indian cricket team competing at the 2022 U-19 World Cup is a squad that has little or no first class cricket in the last 2 years. There was a serious covid scare soon after they reached the Caribbean with the captain, vice captain and other front ranked players having to isolate and recover. And yet they are convincingly unbeaten and readying themselves for yet another U-19 world title.
If the bowlers were special to start with from the beginning of the tournament, the batting too came to the party in the semi-final. Yash Dhull, the captain and Shaik Rasheed, vice captain, look two of the best batsmen on view in the tournament.
So is it fair to say that Indian cricket’s supply like looks real good. I asked Deep Dasgupta who was hugely excited after the semi-final win and spoke about the team's terrific show -
“They couldn’t have got a better person than VVS there. I have to tell you he is the best man for the job. He is the best thing to happen to these boys in the dressing room. And to answer your question I must say the answer is an overwhelming yes. Fast bowlers, batsmen, spinners, we seem to have all the bases covered. Harnoor, Yash, Shaik Rasheed- you have to be pleased with what you are seeing”, concluded Deep.
India's temperament stands out
What has also been stellar is the temperament. India won the toss and lost Angkrish Raghuvanshi early and then when Harnoor Singh fell with the score on 37 in the 13th over, Australia did sense a chance. Jack Nisbet was bowling well and Cooper Conolly had a swagger about him on the field. That’s when Yash and Rasheed got together. They were slow to start with but the moment each of them crossed 30, it was a very different ball game. The Indians had assumed control and the last 10 overs exhibited real carnage, fetching over 100 runs.
Against England in the final, India started overwhelming favorites. Four consecutive finals say something for sure and Indian cricket, needless to say, is in very good health going forward into the future. Will Yash Dhull do a Virat Kohli, Unmukt Chand and a Prithvi Shaw? We have to wait another 24 hours for an answer but from what we have seen so far, few would want to punt against India.