Former India cricket captain Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday said the Under-19 squad would win the ICC World Cup beating Australia in the final. India, on Tuesday, defeated arch-rivals Pakistan by a whopping 203 runs to reach the final where they will meet Australia on Saturday. "India will win the U-19 World Cup," Ganguly told reporters on the sidelines of a Cricket Year Book's 20th anniversary. "Shubman Gill, (Kamlesh) Nagarkoti, (Shivam) Mavi, Ishan Porel they are exceptional talent," he added.
"Indian cricket system is so good that the structure has been made and without sructure you cannot produce cricketers. These players are products of Indian cricket scructure. In the next five years, Indian cricket, save Australia and England, will be the best in the world," added Ganguly, who was in New Zealand for the initial few matches of the World Cup.
The Prithvi Shaw-skippered side beat the Aussies by 100 runs in their first match of the tournament.
"Our infrastrucsture and system is great. The madness for Indian Premier League is massive. They fill the stands and it's madness. So the support of the people will take this sport forward," he said.
"I hope they win under (chief coach) Rahul (Dravid). They won convincingly in every game. They beat Australia by more than 100 runs and hope they do it in the final also," Ganguly continued.
Besides beating Australia by 100 runs in their first game, India colts thumped minnows Papua New Guinea and Zimbabwe by ten wickets, then thrashed neighbours Bangladesh in the quarter-final by 131 runs.
Asked about Bengal's medium-pacer Ishan Porel, who returned figures of 4/17 in six overs in the semi-final, Ganguly said, "He is a (Cricket Association of Bengal's) Vision 2020 product. He stays in Bali (outskirt of Kolkata) and from there he had joined us.
"The Cooch Behar Trophy U-19 which we won, he had a huge role to play. He and Kanishk Seth did well. U-19 is a stepping stone. He has to bridge the gap between U-19 and the senior level. We will help him go in the right direction," Ganguly said.
(With IANS inputs)