Tanmay Srivastava, the highest scorer of U-19 World Cup in 2008 when Virat Kohli led India to the title, talked about the transition from U-19 cricket to first-class cricket being a difficult one.
The left-hander, who is a veteran in first-class cricket now, said he was often sledged at the early part of his career when he just started to play first-class cricket after the World Cup success.
“When I went to play Ranji Trophy after playing the U-19 WC, I still remember initially for a few games when I took guard..’Piche slips se aawaz aati thi, bhai ye U-19 cricket nahi hai, baccho ka cricket nahi hai.’ So initially, I used to get surprised why people said this. However, over a period of time I realized that FC cricket is the real test,” Srivastava said in a conversation with sports presenter Yash Kashikar on his Instagram live show ‘Say Yash to Sports.’
The left-hander had scored 262 runs in just 6 matches at an average of 52.40 in the 2008 edition of the U-19 World Cup.
“When you come there after playing at the U-19 level, lot of people follow your performance. So, the first few games become very important. If you do well there, you tend to get a bit comfortable and your position in the team also gets fixed.
“But, if you don’t perform well, you have to go back and again play age/group cricket, score tons of runs and wait for your chance and see if the team combination works or not. So there are certain advantages when you come after playing at the U-19 level, but at the same time your responsibility increases a lot as well,” added Srivastava who currently plays for Uttarakhand in frist-class cricket and also led them after Unmukt Chand was sacked as captain midway through the season.
Srivastava, who has played 90 first-class matches and scored 4918 runs so far, said Virat Kohli always had the hunger to be the best in anything he did.
“ Even when Virat (Kohli) played with me, he had the hunger to be the number one player in the team. Whatever he did he wanted to be the best in it. While batting he wanted to score the most number of runs, while fielding he wanted to be the best, and even while playing any game he wanted to win that as well. So, he always wanted to prove something.
Also, over the years he has taken his game to a different level altogether. If you see, whether it is batting, fielding or fitness for that matter. The entire world admires him. The changes he brought in his game and the sacrifices he made, only because of it he is the best in the world right now,” Srivastava added.