One of the most famous transitions from U-19 cricket to international cricket has been that of Virat Kohli.
Kohli, who was captain of the India team which won the U-19 World Cup in 2008, is now one of the most feared batsmen across formats. Kohli has also won the World Cup with the senior team, but under the leadership of MS Dhoni in 2011.
However, that isn’t the everyday story and former India cricketer Irfan Pathan explained that the next generation need to focus to be able to make the step up successfully.
Speaking on Star Sports show Cricket Connected, Pathan opened up about how you can ensure Indian stars of the next generation can stay focused and deliver to their potential.
“We have seen so many Under-19 India players who vanish after playing the U-19 World Cup. They don’t end up fulfilling their potential at the international level which they might have. Also, we have so many cricketers playing the U-19 World Cup and then going on to play for India.”
“In between, there is a bridge which is first-class cricket. I think we need to make sure that you have the right mentality to reach at the bigger level, at the same time, making your game bigger, I think that’s the biggest challenge any cricketer faces who plays U-19."
“At the U-19, you need to make sure that you strive to get better as a cricketer. The competition level isn’t the same at the U-19 level, first-class level and at the international level. You need to keep changing your cricketing ability, but at the same time, your mentality as well which is very, very important.”
The last Indian U-19 side to play the World Cup was led by Priyam Garg and they lost to Bangladesh in the final in February in South Africa.