India U19 Coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar Acknowledges Missed Opportunities, Sees Bright Future

India’s U19 head coach, Hrishikesh Kanitkar, reflects on the U19 World Cup final loss, acknowledges missed opportunities, and sees a bright future.

India’s U19 head coach, Hrishikesh Kanitkar, admitted that the team could have restricted Australia to a lower total in the U19 World Cup final, expressing disappointment over missed opportunities. Despite finishing as runners-up, Kanitkar sees a bright future for Indian cricket, highlighting the outstanding performances of the young talent.

In the final, Australia posted 253/8, and India, in their response, faced an early collapse and was bowled out for 174. Kanitkar acknowledged the team’s efforts and mentioned, “Australia played a good game and were spot on with their batting, bowling, and fielding.”

Reflecting on the toss and pitch conditions, Hrishikesh Kanitkar stated, “I was fine with the toss because the pitch was pretty fair, batting first or second. It was possible to get that total.” He emphasized the need for better batting and acknowledged Australia’s strong performance.

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While discussing the future of Indian cricket, Kanitkar praised the young players, stating, “It is, definitely (the future of Indian cricket is very bright). There have been stand-out performances from quite a few players. They have shown maturity in tough situations, and that bodes well for Indian cricket going forward.”

The U19 coach highlighted the valuable experience gained by both the coaching staff and players throughout the tournament. Captain Uday Saharan emerged as the leading run-scorer, and players like Musheer Khan, Sachin Dhas, Saumy Pandey, Adarsh Singh, Raj Limbani, and Arshin Kulkarni showcased their talent.

Regarding the way forward for the young cricketers, Hrishikesh Kanitkar mentioned, “Their performances will be analyzed. They will now go towards their state teams and play various age-group cricket games, where their performances will be seen. Plus, there will be camps at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), and if they keep doing well, they can go up higher.”

Kanitkar expressed confidence that some players from the U19 squad would make a mark in domestic and possibly international cricket, given the competitive environment in India.

IANS