Under-19 World Cup 2012 August 26, 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

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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