Hrishikesh Kanitkar, the head coach of the India U-19 team, is optimistic that a few players from the 2024 class may eventually play for the senior squad.
Hrishikesh Kanitkar, the head coach of the India U-19 team, is optimistic that a few players from the 2024 group, who secured the record five-time champions’ fifth straight final berth, may eventually play for the senior squad. Throughout the competition, players such as captain Uday Saharan, Musheer Khan, Saumy Pandey, and Sachin Dhas were impressive, despite the fact that five-time champions India lost to Australia in the final by 79 runs. “Undoubtedly, India has a very bright future. Numerous individuals have turned in standout performances both as a bowling and batting side.
During the Sunday press conference following the match, Kanitkar stated, “They have shown maturity in tough situations and that bodes well for Indian cricket.”
Saharan, who plays for Punjab, scored the most runs (397) in the competition.
His stature grew as the competition continued. He hit a century against Nepal before a match-winning 81 against South Africa in the quarterfinal.
Mursheer, the younger brother of successful Mumbai batter Sarfaraz Khan, was the team’s most consistent batsman, scoring 360 runs in total.
Dhas, who thrived as a finisher, and Pandey, a left-arm spinner who took 18 wickets, were the other standout players.
Dhas, the Maharashtra batter, shown temperament, which is a prerequisite at the highest level.
The Indian squad has long been an age-group powerhouse, and the U-19 World Cup has produced talents such as Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammed Kaif, Suresh Raina, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, and Yashasvi Jaiswal.
“There are always a couple of people that stand up, whether in the IPL or the Indian squad. I’m sure there will be a few, but there is stiff competition back home,” Kanitkar said.
Arshin Kulkarni and Avanish Rao, two squad players, have already signed IPL contracts prior to the U-19 World Cup.
According to Kanitkar, participating in the U-19 World Cup gives players an idea of what it’s like to compete at the senior level.
“For the players’ big trip, everything is highlighted; these performances are important, and they are under scrutiny. They get used to these circumstances. The 49-year-old head coach stated that they understand what to expect and are prepared to play top level cricket.