Middle-order batsman Mohammad Kaif today said the ICC Under-19 World Cup, which started yesterday in the UAE, is a good platform for the budding cricketers.
"We also came through Under-19. We won the World Cup in Sri Lanka. Virat Kohli was captain of Under-19 team that won the World Cup (later). Unmukt Chand too. It is a good platform for youngsters to show their talent. Then they get the opportunity in Ranji to show their talent," said Kaif, who is here to play for Air India in the BCCI Corporate Trophy tournament that starts on Sunday.
Kaif, who led the U-19 team that also included Yuvraj Singh to the Junior World Cup title triumph in 2000, said the tournament was also a good base for the youngsters to start their international career.
"It is a good base and a good opportunity for youngsters. But I think they should also be given opportunity for 2-3 years in Ranji to see how they are improving. Playing for one or two years in the Ranji after under-19 is good for their maturity," he said.
The 33-year-old, who is known for his sharp fielding, gave a few tips at the BKC ground to under-15 Mumbai players, Prithvi Shaw and Arjun Tendulkar.
"I told them go low and take the start and told them about the hand position. I told them to keep their hands a little wide for the catch," he said.
Kaif, who has played 13 Tests and 125 ODIs, was impressed with Shaw's batting and fielding.
"I saw him batting in the nets. This is the first time I am seeing him. Pravin Amre sir (AI coach) told me he had scored 500 runs in one match and is very talented. He was fielding well."
Arjun, son of veteran Sachin Tendulkar, also caught Kaif's attention with his left arm bowling.
"I faced Arjun in the nets. He bowls well. His release from the seam is quite good. He is not like his father and bowls lefty. Sachin paaji was a right-arm batsman and right-arm bowler. But he used to throw left-handed sometimes when he was in the mood," the UP player said.