Shoaib Akhtar heaps praise on India U-19 star Yashasvi Jaiswal

India U-19, led by Priyam Garg, beat Pakistan U-19 by 10 wickets in the World Cup semifinal and will face either Bangladesh U-19 or New Zealand U-19 in the final.

India U-19

India U-19 players celebrate the wicket of Pakistan U-19's Qasim Akram.   -  AFP

Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar has heaped praise on the Indian colts following their emphatic win over Pakistan in the semifinal of the ongoing U-19 World Cup.

Akhtar said that the Priyam Garg-led side was absolutely brilliant and that the future of Indian cricket is in safe hands.

India marched into its third consecutive World Cup final following a comprehensive 10-wicket win over Pakistan in the semifinal at the Senwes Park in Potchefstroom in South Africa.

After Sushant Mishra, Kartik Tyagi and Ravi Bishnoi shared the spoils to bowl out Pakistan for 172, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Divyaansh Saxena starred with the bat as India reached the target with 14.4 overs to spare.

Read: Bowlers, Jaiswal lead India U19 to World Cup final

Akhtar was particularly critical of Pakistan’s fielding efforts and said that the team did not deserve to go to the finals of the prestigious tournament.

“Congratulations to the Pakistan U19 team for reaching the semis. It was a good effort but not good enough to take you to the finals. It was a pathetic fielding performance by Pakistan. Despite being U19, can’t you put in dives while fielding? They did not deserve to be in the finals but on the other end congratulations to India for winning the semis,” Akhtar said in a video posted on his Youtube channel.


“They won it and won it comprehensively. Indian team deserves praise and they must be told that there are some players in your team who will surely represent India in the future. I am very happy to see that India’s future is in the right hands,” he added.

The former Pakistan speedster reserved rich praise for Jaiswal, who has battled all odds to make his way into the Indian setup and is now one of the rising stars in the country.

“India’s boy Jaiswal, he left his village to come to Mumbai and used to sleep in milk dairies. He has scored two centuries in U19 cricket. Jaiswal used to sell pani puri in the morning. He sold pani puris to his team-mates to have food on his plate.

“Imagine this kind of a guy, who will be street smart and will fight for his place. Rajasthan Royals bought Jaiswal and remember my words that Jaiswal is going to go places. He has the power, passion and interest for the game. He will represent the senior team, this is a guarantee. Saxena also played well.

“Pakistan players need to learn from Jaiswal’s history. He is running behind excellence and money is running behind him now,” the former Pakistan pacer added.

Akhtar also took a dig at Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), saying they have not managed to get the established Pakistan cricketers for coaching roles as the board is reluctant to shell money.

India will now face the winner of the Bangladesh versus New Zealand in the final on Sunday.

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