Hyderabad: The Indian cricket team had reason to celebrate after a resounding innings win against New Zealand in the first Test at Hyderabad, but they didn't forget the feats of the India Under-19 side that had lifted the World Cup a few hours before the senior side wrapped up victory against New Zealand.
MS Dhoni started his post-match speech with a congratulatory message for the Unmukt Chand-led side, while Virat Kohli and R Ashwin were also effusive in their praise. Chand, who hit 111 not out in India's chase, came in for particular praise by both of them.
Kohli, who was the captain of the 2008 India Under-19 side that also won the World Cup, lauded the team for winning against Australia in Australia.
"I would like to congratulate the Under-19 team on doing such a great job by winning the World Cup," said Kohli. "Coming together for so long a period of time and doing so well, especially in Australia, is not easy. Beating Australia in Australia in a World Cup final has never happened before, and hence it is such a great achievement.
"Especially the way they batted while chasing is very encouraging. Unmukt's (Chand) knock is one of the best that we have seen in recent times. All the boys did well."
Kohli revealed that the senior side had followed as much of the final as they could, helped by the rain delay that affected the start of the day's play in the Test match.
"We have been watching the game since the morning and even in the dressing room, we were glued to the television when the match here was delayed due to rain. The entire Indian team enjoyed those moments," said Kohli. "I am happy for the youngsters who have done so well. Just enjoy the moment and take it as it comes. But most importantly, don't let go of all the hard work that you have put in. This win will surely give you a lot of confidence and set you up for greater things in life."
R Ashwin, who was the man of the match for his haul of 12 for 85, said he had been up since 5 am to catch the game.
"We watched the match together, we wanted India to win," said Ashwin. "I woke up at 5 this morning to see what the game was all about. I thought we guys batted really well - Smit Patel, (Baba) Aparajith has been doing really well through the tournament and Unmukt's innings today was out of the world, it was just brilliant. This victory means much more for the Indian team because it has happened in Australia. We didn't have a great season there some time back, so I am very pleased that they have put one across Australia now."
Sachin Tendulkar, who made his international debut before any of the Under-19 side players were born, was also pleased with the win. "We were watching and following what was going on in the final in our dressing room," said Tendulkar. "I would like to congratulate the team and tell them that you guys made us proud by raising that beautiful trophy."
There was recognition of the team's efforts from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) too, with N Srinivasan, the president, saying each member of the team would be awarded Rs.20 lakh, with Rs.15 lakh for each member of the support staff.
"Many congratulations to the Indian team for the winning the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup," said Srinivasan in a statement. "We won the 'senior' World Cup last year, and now our boys have triumphed in the junior version of the tournament. This is a great day for Indian cricket. The Board would like to announce a cash prize of Rs. 20 lakhs to each player, and Rs. 15 lakhs to each member of the support staff."
Sanjay Jagdale, the BCCI Secretary, said the team had worked hard and deserved the title in his message of congratulations.
"The Indian cricket team has played some extraordinary cricket in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup. The members of the team have worked hard, and deserve the title. Heartiest congratulations to the boys and support staff for winning the World Cup."