Going into the final of the U19 World Cup, the primary focus was on Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill.
There was no surprise in this, as Shaw had already made sounds in big leagues while Gill was getting attention during the junior World Cup, courtesy his form.
In the final, though, it was Manjot Kalra who shone with his brisk century to get his name registered in the history books. The left-handed batsman scored 101* runs to lead India U19 to a victory by helping the side chase a target of 217.
Manjot kept his nerves in the middle of the race to a small target, where India U19 lost two wickets of Shaw and Gill.
The 19-year old player who will be playing or Delhi Daredevils in the upcoming IPL caught up with Sportzwiki where he talked about conditions in New Zealand, his best innings in the World and much more.
Q.1 What were the changes which you experienced there (New Zealand) in comparison to India?
Manjot: Weather was quite different. Wind used to blow at a good pace. There was heat too. Bounce on the wicket was quite different. Also, the grounds there were quite soft where we played, in comparison to India.
Q.2 How will you rate team India’s performance during the World Cup?
Manjot: Best. Because we won. There was a good bonding amongst us. We were there to win.
Q.3 What was the impact of pep talk which the team had with Virat Kohli before leaving for the World Cup?
Manjot: The best thing about the talk was that when he said that your personal performances come after the team’s performance. The team should win, first.
Q.4 Was there any personal message for you?
Q.5 What impact has Rahul Dravid had on you during the time when you played. Right from Asia Cup to the World Cup?
Manjot: He had a major impact on me. The way he taught us. He is the same person both on and off the field.
Q.6 How did this journey begin for you. When did you decide to take up the sport as a professional?
Manjot: Actually my brother used to play cricket, and I used to accompany him to the ground just for fun. But coaches saw me and said that I could do well.
From there, I took the game seriously, and I first played at the U14 level from Delhi. I was the captain there. From that experience, my interest grew in the game.
Q.7 How you managed studies and the game when you were in school?
Manjot: I had to make an adjustment. I used to come from school and then I used to go to practice. Then coming back going to tuition. Then study and sleep.
Q.8 Batsman you admire the most?
Manjot: Virat Kohli.
Q.9 Which innings would you rate as the best innings out of all which you played during the World Cup?
Manjot: The innings that I played in the final was the best innings that I played during the World Cup.
Q.10 What does this World Cup win mean for you? How will it help you to achieve your future goals?
Manjot: I will remember this for my lifetime. This is my first big achievement and I have to do a lot more in the future.