GenX comes of age

GenX comes of age

India’s youngsters had to defeat two powerful rivals in the ICC under-19 cricket World Cup final—history and defending champions Australia.

The side led by Unmukt Chand accomplished the task in splendid style, scoring a six-wicket win over the Aussies to emerge world champions for the third time at Townsville, Australia, on Sunday.

Chasing 226 in the World Cup final against a tough opponent like Australia can frighten even the best. But skipper Chand smashed an unbeaten, steely 111 and stitched together a 130-run partnership for the fifth-wicket with Smit Patel (62 not out) as India romped home in 47.4 overs.

It is the first time Australia has been beaten in an under-19 World Cup final, and now India are senior and junior world champions—a rare double in world cricket.

The professional manner of India’s chase was indeed remarkable, but there were a few more points in the victory that would please an Indian cricket fan. From the time India had first won the under-19 World Cup at Sri Lanka in 2000, the tournament had supplied a handful of talented players to the senior team. Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif and Reetinder Singh Sodhi were the finds 12 years ago, and the trio went on to represent India with varying degrees of success.

In 2008, the World Cup win in Kuala Lumpur contributed Virat Kohli to Indian cricket, and his growth as an all-weather batsman in the last couple of years has been well-documented.

Cut to 2012, the story is no different. India have a clutch of youngsters to look forward to from this edition of the event. Chand, medium pacer Sandeep Sharma, who took four wickets in the final, all-rounder Baba Aparajith, the Tamil Nadu lad who made some handy contributions throughout the tournament, and left-arm spinner Harmeet Singh could be seen playing with their senior counterparts in the near future.

In winning the trophy in such a remarkable fashion, these youngsters have made a strong statement that they are no longer afraid of the situations, opponents and alien conditions.

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