Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly said the Under-19 squad would win the ICC World Cup beating Australia in the final. The junior Indian team defeated arch-rivals Pakistan by a whopping 203 runs to reach the final where they will meet Australia on Saturday.
During a Cricket Year Book’s 20th anniversary, Sourav said, “India will win the U-19 World Cup. Shubman Gill, (Kamlesh) Nagarkoti, (Shivam) Mavi, Ishan Porel they are an exceptional talent. These players are products of Indian cricket scructure. In the next five years, Indian cricket, save Australia and England, will be the best in the world.”
The Prithvi Shaw led Indian team had defeated the Aussies by 100 runs in their first match of the tournament. He said, “Our infrastrucsture and system is great. The madness for Indian Premier League is massive. They fill the stands and it’s madness. So the support of the people will take this sport forward. I hope they win under (chief coach) Rahul (Dravid). They won convincingly in every game. They beat Australia by more than 100 runs and hope they do it in the final also.”
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Besides beating Australia by 100 runs in their first league match, Indian players thumped minnows Papua New Guinea and Zimbabwe by ten wickets, then outplayed neighbours Bangladesh in the quarter-final by 131 runs.
Asked about Bengal’s medium-pacer Ishan Porel, who registered the figures of 4/17 in six overs in the semi-final, Ganguly said, “He is a (Cricket Association of Bengal’s) Vision 2020 product. He stays in Bali (outskirt of Kolkata) and from there he had joined us. The Cooch Behar Trophy U-19 which we won, he had a huge role to play. He and Kanishk Seth did well. U-19 is a stepping stone. He has to bridge the gap between U-19 and the senior level. We will help him go in the right direction.”