Hyderabad: Members of the senior India team complimented their Under-19 counterparts for winning the World Cup in Australia after their own victory in the first Test against New Zealand here Sunday.
Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar said: "We were watching and following what was going on in the final in our dressing room. I would like to congratulate the team and tell them that you guys made us proud by raising that beautiful trophy."
Virat Kohli, who captained the U-19 World Cup winning side in 2008 in Malaysia, said: "It was a great game of cricket. Hats off to Unmukt [Chand] who led from the front. Beating Australia in Australia in the final of a World Cup is a huge achievement. This is a great moment for India.
"Having played at the U-19 level, I know how the feeling is... how special it is to win the U-19 World Cup... when you come together for a long period of time and especially in Australian conditions," said the rising star of senior team who had shot to instant stardom after the U-19 World Cup triumph.
Kohli feels that the real journey starts from here on and it will only boost these boys' confidence. "Doing so well there will boost your confidence. But most importantly, don't leave the hard work. I think your journey starts from here. It's going to give you a lot of confidence and set you up to do greater things in life. I think this is the time to focus and work harder," was Kohli's message for the youngsters.
"Enjoy the moment. Cherish it. It's going to stay with you for the rest of your life as it has for mine. As I said, just live in the moment."
Hailing statemate Unmukt for a matchwinning 111 not out, Kohli said: "I think it's one of the best knocks I've seen in recent times. The amount of self-belief shown by you and all the boys, including Smit Patel, was amazing. As it was raining here, we were watching you guys on TV."
Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Man of the Match for the Hyderabad Test, R Ashwin, also congratulated the team, praising skipper Unmukt. "Congratulations to the Under-19 World Cup team; Unmukt Chand batted really well," Dhoni said.
"We were watching it together and wanted them to win. I woke up at 5 o'clock this morning to watch what's happening [in Australia]. This victory means much more for the Indian team because it happened in Australia. We did not have a great season sometime back, so I'm very pleased that they put one across this time around," Ashwin said.
Ashwin praised Unmukt, Smit Patel and Baba Aparajith for their efforts. "Few guys batted really well. Like Smit Patel today...Baba Aparajith has been doing very well. Unmukt Chand's innings today was just out of the world. It was brilliant," Ashwin said.