On cloud nine after lifting the Under-19 World Cup trophy, India skipper Prithvi Shaw credited the team and support staff, and singled out coach Rahul Dravid for the title winning run.
“Can’t express what I’m feeling right now, really proud,” he said. “All credit to our support staff for really supporting us for the last two years. Rahul sir himself is a legend, ‘The Wall’ as we all know him. Full credit to our coaching staff. When you have two guys (Dravid and Paras Mhambrey), who have played international cricket, it gives you great insights.”
He added, “There a lot of memories created. I can’t express, what I am feeling right now. I am just happy. It feels really good. Winning this World Cup, it means a lot to us, making India proud. We are enjoying ourselves whether we were batting or bowling.”
Asked what he was going through having achieved the target of winning the World Cup, Shaw said, “There were not many emotions. It was mazaak and masti (fun and frolic. We were waiting for this tournament. We have played together for 1-2 years. As a captain, I have been backed. Whenever I was under pressure, the team backed me.”
Asked what did he convey to his teammates after the Australian innings ended at 216 and they went into a rare huddle? Shaw said, he did not want his side to be complacent.
“It was not that big a score. I did not want boys to be casual. It was big thing, and it is a World Cup final. We needed to be calm and have partnerships. Those little things helped.”
Shaw, who already has five first-class hundreds to his name, said playing in New Zealand was a good learning curve. “It was a good experience, we learnt a lot in these weather conditions. Rahul sir has visited here a lot and he told us how to play, also Paras sir. It was a team work,” said Shaw.
Kalra’s splendid knock
Shaw also praised centurion Manjot Kalra. “It was a crucial hundred from Manjot. [Shubman] Gill was batting so well before he got out. Both our pacers – Kamlesh [Nagarkoti] and Shivam Mavi, have been executing things so well through the tournament. It’s been wonderful playing matches here,” said Shaw.
Despite losing the final, Australian skipper Jason Sangha said he was proud of his team for the way they performed throughout the tournament.
“Don’t know what to say at the moment. Proud of the guys to get this far in the tournament. Best thing about today was guys tried to grind it. As a captain, you can’t complain when everyone’s giving 110%,” Sangha said. Sangha, however, admitted that they were completely outplayed by India in the final. “Full credit to India. They played very well. Best of luck for the guys for the IPL. Good for their supporters who came out today,” he added.
Gill man of the tournament
Shubman Gill, who was adjudged the Man of the Tournament for his 372 runs, said, “I am really proud of my team. We were fortunate enough to have Rahul sir as our coach. He was just telling me to express my game and keep it on the ground. Had a good time here. It’s been very exciting for me. Hope to do well in IPL also.”
Kalra was awarded the Man of the Match after he blasted an unbeaten 101 off 102 balls to steer India to an eight-wicket win.
He said: “Great feeling. Enjoyed a lot. Conditions were very good. It was a flat wicket to bat on. In the team, it’s been a great environment.”
Left-arm spinner Abhishek Sharma, who took six wickets in the series, said, “Obviously, we have dreamt of this from last year. We had few plans and we stuck to it. It’s always grateful to be part of this team. I can’t explain the feeling. We’ll celebrate this night - best night of our lives.”
His teammate Riyan Parag described it as an amazing feeling to come up trumps in a tough match. “It’s just amazing. I was thinking I wouldn’t bat and I proved myself right. Just wanted Manjot to get to his century. I thought it’d be a tough match. It was tough, but we made it look easy. It (pitch) was good for batsmen as well as the bowlers,” he said.
India seamer Ishan Porel praised the bowlers for putting up a great effort in the tournament.
“I’m feeling on top of the world. Credit goes to support staff and team. A competitive effort. Got lots of messages from India. I can only say that our bowlers have been fantastic all through the tournament. It’s a team effort,” he said.
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