Category Archives: U19 World cup

India win U-19 WC

In a rain affected low scoring tense final, India won the under 19 World cup. India won all the games that they played and thoroughly deserved the cup. It does bode well for India, but they have to nurture these youngsters so that they move into the senior team in a few years time – and stay there. India were runners up a couple of years ago losing the finals to Pakistan. Two of the stars from that WC – Piyush Chawla and Rohit Sharma are already playing for the senior team. And from the team that played the World cup before that, players like Uthappa, Raina, Karthik and VRV Singh have already represented Team India.

It is good to know that junior cricket is producing a lot of talent that eventually play for the Indian team. But there is also the tendency for a lot of players who show plenty of promise at this level to eventually fall away. For instance, only Yuvraj Singh from the team that won the World cup in 1999-2000 is still playing for India.


India in under 19 WC final

India reached the under 19 World Cup final yesterday with a win over New Zealand. For the first time they were chasing a target in excess of 150 and almost made a hash of it. Cruising at a 150 odd for 3 they suddenly lost 4 wickets before a few bold hits settled the issue. I have been watching a few of the games off and on and here are some positives from the way the team has played.

  • The batting looks very solid. Batsmen have a good technique and they are also not averse to walking down the pitch and taking a shot at regular intervels. They seem to be very much in tune with modern methods of batsmanship.
  • The fielding is a revelation. The cricketers are really fit, agile and athletic. There was one particluar pickup and run out attempt by Tanmay Srivastav that just blew me away.
  • The bowling looks ok. Sangwan continues the tradition of Indian swing bowling and is a real threat when he can get the ball to move. Sidharth Kaul and Ajitesh Argal are extremely accurate and do not give much away. I am not too impressed with Ravindra Jadeja. At this level he is a very good spinner and opponents do not have much experience tackling quality spin. But he looks more like a conventional left arm spinner from Western India in the Nadkarni/Shastri mould who is flatter and quicker through the air rather than the Bedi/Maninder mould of North India.
  • All round skills seem to be the focus for most of the cricketers. Virat Kohli, the captain, bowled a splendid spell of “poi” (deceipt) bowling as they call it here in Chennai cricket circles. You generally vary the pace and deceive the batsman. His slow leg cutter resembles Chris Harris and he is very accurate. Similarly Tanmay Srivastav bowls off spin and can keep the batsmen guessing.This is just the kind of additional bowling skills that will help these batsmen in the modern game. I did not see much about the batting capabilities of the bowlers but a few lusty blows by Sangwan at the end of yesterday’s game gives me hope that the next generation may not bat like Munaf Patel!
  • The wicket keeper Srivats Goswami also was impressive with an excellent stumping and consistent batting performances at the top of the order.
  • The batsmen also perform well under pressure. Last year in a triangular final chasing 200 odd, Saurabh Tiwary and Manish Pandey added 140 plus after India were 50 for 4 to win the match. I saw 3 boundaries by Pandey yesterday and he just oozes class!
  • In the reserves there is still the local boy Abhinav  Mukund who sadly has not yet got a game. But I have seen him bat when he made 2 hundreds for TN in the Ranji Trophy including one on debut and he has an excellent temperament.

Now coming to the blot on the performance. Yesterday Corey anderson the New Zealander hit a fine knock to get his team to 200. Ultimately he was bowled by Tanmay. But it was very sad to see Tanmay imitating Ishanth Sharma and signalling the batsman to walk to the pavilion. The sad part was that there was hardly any provocation from the batsman a la Symonds. Afterall he had played a great knock and deserved a “well played” rather than that disgraceful gesture Tanmay is one of the stars in this team and this kind of behaviour does not augur well for the future. Of coruse the umpire Hartley immediately called Tanmay and let him know that this was not on. But I really think India should worry more about cricketing skills and instill those in the youngsters and ‘weed’ out such unnecessary and unwarranted gestures and actions.

— Sanjay


Sunday was heaven for a thwarted cricket ambition such as mine.

The Aham-udai-yaaL (Tamizh for owner-ess of the home) was away for the afternoon, the children were nominally in my care, but in reality were happily engaged in activities involving mud and water in the backyard, and I had a choice of two cricket games involving India on the widescreen.

India v Australia at the SCG on Channel 9.

India v England at the Kinrara Oval in the U19 World Cup on Foxtel.

And I kept flicking between both, with extended sojourns at Kinrara particularly when Ponting was brutalising the attack.

The Indian U19 lot are top dogs in this tournament. Dav Whatmore’s charges are an aware lot. In addition to having all the skills (fielding in particular) a lot of them move with the mien of future stars and have the hairstyles to prove it.

Some names to watch for.

Shrivats Goswami.

Packed as the side is with spinners, watching him keep to them is particularly pleasing. Light on his feet, he rises with the release and moves in early anticipation. (Parthiv, are you paying attention?) Therefore, he is in position early for leg side takes.

And athletic too. This episode is from the previous game v WI. Mid on (Srivastava?) threw into the gloves. It was a spectacular dive-surface and release effort, so a degree of waywardness was forgivable.

What stood out was Goswami’s acrobatic dive outwards, his collection and rapid underarm release-while airborne AND blindsided-to hit the stumps.

Virat Kohli

His century against the WI was urgent and a captain’s knock that I think put the match out of WI’s grasp. Unless he’s been coached, he seems to have mastered the soundbite as well. His post match interviews are crisp and to the point.

George Binoy writes that at the previous edition, Indian media interest swelled as India progressed, and he expects the same this time around.

Given the quality of the cricket on display I’d suggest that we, the great unwashed, tune in as well.