CHENNAI: Defeat in the final of a World Cup doesn’t usually come with positives. Especially if you are India and losing to Bangladesh. But the U-19 World Cup was different, feels Paras Mhambrey. Coach of the Indian team that lost in the final in South Africa’s Potchefstroom, he feels the boys should emerge wiser from the experience. “It feels good to have coached a wonderful bunch of youngsters. They did not seize the initiative and that’s why we ended up as runners-up. Nevertheless, it was a good experience for the boys. It should help them later in their career,’’ said Mhambrey.
As a word of caution, he added: “Graduating to the senior level will depend on how they handle first-class cricket.”Already, there are talks that several players of the U-19 team can make the India cut. But the former medium-pacer said one has to be patient instead of getting carried away. “All the players are talented, but there is none at the moment who can walk straight into the senior team. They should undergo the domestic grind for at least two years and take it from there.”
Many former cricketers reckon that Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ravi Bishnoi and Dhruv Jurel are the most talented of the current bunch. “Jaiswal is immensely gifted, with a penchant for long innings. He has huge hunger for runs. There is fire in the belly and he constantly wants to improve. But I believe he needs to do well in first-class cricket first.”Aditya Tare, the stand-in captain of Mumbai, believes Jaiswal has the potential to do well in first-class cricket. “He is immensely talented. He will get a lot of opportunities to play for Mumbai next season. He looks solid, has a good technique, with an immense appetite for runs. He is also a good learner. I am sure he will do well for Mumbai,” opined Tare.
Playing for Mumbai in the Vijay Hazare Trophy one-dayers this season, Jaiswal had made heads turn by slamming a double ton against Jharkhand. Quality leg-spinners are scarce in domestic cricket, even though the number of bowlers practising this has gone up in the last few years. The performance of Bishnoi in the junior World Cup was encouraging. “He is an attacking bowler who goes for wickets. What I like about him is his accuracy. He should continue to do what he is doing now (googlies with a top-spinner). It is early to say whether he will graduate to the next level,’’ opined former India leg-spinner L Sivaramakrishnan.