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NEW DELHI: In the first media interaction at home after becoming the new under-19 world champions on Monday, India coach Rahul Dravid expressed his satisfaction for the successful campaign before disclosing that his team did not play its number one game in the final, though they got the desired result.
“I feel proud for these boys as they get to wear a World Cup winner’s medal. But I don’t think we played our number one game in the final but we got the result we wanted,” Dravid said.
Victorious India U-19 team arrives to heroes welcome
The batting legend also added that the most satisfying part, other than winning the World Cup, was the process the team took to reach the top and the experience they had during it.
“The real satisfaction is about the whole process that was followed in the last 15 to 16 months. The planning and preparation of developing players is a good process we have put in place. We need to keep refining and developing this process.
“As kids, they have had experiences which should hold them in good stead for an entire lifetime. To play in front of big crowd, matches which are televised and play a high-pressure final is something huge,” Dravid added.
Dravid also praised the kind of reception the team got when they landed in India. But also, reminded his boys that it won’t be easy for them to graduate to the next level.
“The fact that they have got this reception and they are fronting up to the media is a big experience for these boys. But the real test begins now and I have spoken to the boys about that.
“From the team that won the 2012 World Cup, only one boy has played a few matches for India. So it is important that these boys continue to work hard and eventually go on to play for India and do well,” Dravid said.
The captain of the team, Prithvi Shaw shared the difficulties he faced in his nascent career as cricketer.
“It wasn’t easy for me as I used to stay in Virar and I thank my dad for taking me everywhere. Those were difficult days but when you work hard to get something it is very satisfying. I don’t have the words to express what I am feeling I just want to thank everyone for keeping their trust in me and the team. It is all about the kind of experience you garner over the years, tend to make a difference in the way you play at the top level,” Shaw said.
Newly-crowned ICC U-19 champions were accorded a warm welcome on their arrival at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. The Indian team, led by captain Shaw, were received at the airport by senior officials of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).
Besides MCA officials, a significant number of fans also assembled at the airport to welcome the young heroes.
India produced a dominant performance in the tournament and remained unbeaten throughout to lift the trophy for a record fourth time in New Zealand. India humbled Australia by eight wickets to win the title last Saturday.