Paras Mhambrey, India’s head coach at the recently-concluded Under 19 World Cup, said the next challenge for the young cricketers who finished runners-up will be to prove their mettle at the first-class level.

In an interview with The Times of India, the former India pacer was full of praise for the U19 class of 2020 and, without singling out players, hoped that some of them will represent the senior team soon.

“These guys have the potential and have the skills. I think the challenge for them is obviously first-class cricket,” Mhambrey said. “They are the best at this age group level. I think the next step for them is first-class level. They should play more and more domestic games, get better and when the opportunity comes, grab it with both hands”.

“Everyone from this lot will not represent the country, but there are a couple of guys who have the potential to go to that level. I am sure you will see some of the names from this team represent the senior team in a couple of years. If you talk about potential, every single player in the team has the potential to go to the highest level,” he added.

India at U19 World Cup: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ravi Bishnoi emerge as stars to watch out for

It was a thrilling final between India and Bangladesh, where the latter created history by becoming world champions for the first time but the immediate aftermath of the match was marred by unsavoury scenes in Potchefstroom on Sunday.

While the broadcaster immediately cut away from live pictures of the fracas in the middle, a video posted by former South Africa all-rounder and commentator at the tournament JP Duminy, captured a Bangladesh player sliding in celebration on the pitch before taunting Indian players. And five players were later charged by ICC for violating the code of conduct. The India coach was seen calming his players down during the fracas.

“That is something we should not focus on now. I just want to say, they are kids, they will learn with time. There are a lot of emotions at this stage. Who likes to be on the losing side? No one. So, those were the emotions. It was a big stage,” Mhambrey said.

“Whatever has happened, it wasn’t good. It wasn’t good behaviour at all. But they are kids, they will learn this part too. It was a big learning and lesson for them. I am sure and confident that you will never get to hear such things from this lot again,”

While Indian players topped the run-scoring and wicket-taking charts for the tournament (Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ravi Bishnoi, respectively), the title proved elusive but Mhambrey said he was proud of his team’s performances.

“For me, the results are not something you can control. I told the boys, ‘just leave whatever happened on the field and move ahead. That was just a bad day. Be proud of what you have done and don’t judge yourself’,” he said.