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Under-19 World Cup 2012

'The greatest moment of my life'

Members of the India Under-19 team that won the World Cup, beating Australia by six wickets in Townsville, on what the victory meant for them

George Binoy in Townsville

August 26, 2012

Comments: 29 | Text size: A | A

Smit Patel roars after the winning runs are hit, Australia v India, ICC U-19 World Cup, final, Townsville, August 26, 2012
Smit Patel: "My fielding coach told me [before the game], 'You're going to hit the winning shot.' I just followed my instincts." © ICC/Getty

Baba Aparajith
Immediate reaction: It's really awesome, we've been working hard for the last one and a half years. It's a dream come true for us. We were 97 for 4, and then a great partnership from Smit and Unmukt. The way they batted, we all believed we could easily make it.

His partnership with Chand: I was trying to play my natural game, I knew if I could stay there with Unmukt, we could get a good partnership of around 70-80 runs. We did that, I could have continued but played a little loose shot.

On the crowd support for India: Fantastic, that too in Townsville. The Indian crowd was bigger than the Aussie crowd. Everybody was supporting us.

Bharat Arun
Immediate reaction: Outstanding victory, a phenomenal victory, something we'd planned for the last one year. At one stage it looked a little dicey but they came up trumps. They saved their best for the final, Unmukt kept his best batting for the final.

On Chand's performance
It was a hair-raising performance. At one stage we looked a little in trouble, but I knew once there was a partnership that they would come through because it was not a huge score. The way Unmukt played … not only his innings but the way he made the others play around him was outstanding as well.

Aparajith's innings was a gem. Had he continued for ten more overs, the match would have been sealed long ago. Outstanding cover drives, outstanding.

Harmeet Singh
Immediate reaction: Everyone is ecstatic, no words, no words. It's a dream come true, we've been working hard for this for a year and a half. Everyone is thrilled and excited. Undoubtedly the greatest moment of my life.

Feeling when winning runs were hit: We were sitting on the same chairs for an hour or so since they were batting. We did not move. We decided to move only after he [Smit] hit that shot. It was amazing, the way they held their nerves. Unmukt was due and he made a big one.

Prashant Chopra
Immediate reaction: I really feel like crying right now. It's a dream come true. For the past one and a half years, we've been dreaming we'd be Under-19 World Champions. We have finally achieved it. Thanks to our captain, he finished the game today. We had prepared for this situation, how to fight in a tough situation. We had confidence in Unmukt and he also had confidence that he would score runs. He's a big match player. He proved it today

Tough lead-up to the final: We have experienced all [kinds of] tough situations before the final. That was good for us. We had faced all of them. We were mentally prepared.

Ravikant Singh
Immediate reaction: I am very excited. I dont know what to do.

On his performance in the World Cup: It's my first tournament, I'm very happy, we are world champions. I wasn't trying hard to take wickets, I was focusing on containing the batsmen. So I had success. I felt a little pressure in the second game; if I didn't perform well I may have been dropped. So there was some pressure but I just took it in my stride. After the five-wicket haul my confidence was high.

Sandeep Sharma
Immediate reaction: Feels amazing. This is a very amazing feeling, I didn't win in New Zealand [in 2010], I cant tell you this is an amazing feeling.

On his performance: I was just concentrating on line and length, I was swinging the ball really well this morning. So just concentrating on good line and length.

Confident of chasing 226?: Yes, when we bowled we saw the wicket was a bit flat, 225 was a little bit low according to our batting standards. At the time [100 for 4] we were a little nervous but after that Unmukt Chand and Smit Patel batted superbly and they won the match for us.

On Chand's performance: Amazing batsman, amazing batsman. I have never seen a batsman like him. We were thinking his runs were due, he is a big match player and he delivered today.

Smit Patel
On his half-century: I'm really very happy, I can't express it in words. One of the best innings of my life, and it was in the final, I am so happy. I dont have any words. My fielding coach told me [before the game], "You're going to hit the winning shot." I just followed my instincts.

On India's temperament leading into the final: We guys are used to playing finals. We just took it as another match. We just thought we won't think too much about it being a final and all. We just thought we'd have some friendly chats and joke around. So we kept the atmosphere really light.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (August 27, 2012, 13:06 GMT)

There is no parallel to beating Australia in the World Cup of any format of Cricket.. Congratulations to these youngsters.. this is the future of India.. Well Done.

Posted by chokkashokka on (August 27, 2012, 8:25 GMT)

World Champions - Men and U19. Now lets bring home the WT20 next month and complete the set. All championships in India - let the seedings take care of themselves.

Posted by chapathishot on (August 27, 2012, 7:30 GMT)

I like this Harmeet ,hopfully he will not be ruined by T20 like the other sardar

Posted by   on (August 27, 2012, 1:15 GMT)

Fantastic performance..looks like it's India's days in cricket to rule!!!be it the senior level world cup or u-19's!!!!hope to c this routine continue in September @ the T-20 world cup!!!Hail India!!!Hail Chand & Co...!!

Posted by cricket__fan on (August 26, 2012, 22:39 GMT)

Congrats to team India for being the champions. A briliiant perforamcne without doubt and to beat Aussie in Aussie is great achievement in itself. But let us not get carried away with this win it does not prove anything for lon term. Look at what happened to the senior team in 2011 after winning the world cup - they were completely annihiliated in England and Australia.

Posted by bvnathan on (August 26, 2012, 21:50 GMT)

CONGRATS to INDIA U-19 team for Winning the World Cup!!! I was watching the match live (in USA) and it was great to see the batting of Chand, Aparajith, Smit Patel in the finals. It was great to see the belief the team had, and there are more finds to don the INDIA color in future - Chand, Aparajith, Patel, Sandeep, Harmeet - hopefully they will be groomed well to the next level. It was amazing to see young Aussie pace bowlers at their best in the finals, may be India need to unearth some talent like that and also learn. For a change U-19 WC did show excellient fast bowling talent across other teams as well WI, SA, Pak, PNG and even Afghanistan.

Posted by   on (August 26, 2012, 21:32 GMT)

Under-19 to Over-38 ( Sach) we have successful players in all age groups !!

Posted by   on (August 26, 2012, 20:11 GMT)

I can foresee following Indian team for 2015 WC 1. Gauti 2. Kohl (VC)i, 3. Unmukt, 4. Baba Aparajit/Rohit Sharma, 5.Raina, 6. Yuvi 7. Dhoni/Sumit Patel, 8. Ashwin/ Irfan, 9. Umesh Yadhav, 10. Ravikanth, 11. Harmeet Singh

Posted by ooper_cut on (August 26, 2012, 18:49 GMT)

Nice to hear these youngsters talk and let their hands down. Wonderful performance all 15 of them and their support staff. Enjoy and paint the town of Townsville, RED.

Posted by   on (August 26, 2012, 18:16 GMT)

the Victory is important since it is achieved in adverse condition. Remember, India aren't favourite to win in Bouncy wickets..and they defeated Aussies that too in their own backyard..something truly amazing. the partnership of Unmukt and Aparajitha was the display of audacious stroke-making at its best. it wouldn't hv cme at a better occasion.

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George Binoy Assistant Editor After a major in Economics and nine months in a financial research firm, George realised that equity, capital and the like were not for him. He decided that he wanted to be one of those lucky few who did what they love at work. Alas, his prodigious talent was never spotted and he had to reconcile himself to the fact that he would never earn his money playing cricket for his country, state or even district. He jumped at the opportunity to work for ESPNcricinfo and is now confident of mastering the art of office cricket

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