Under 19 Cricket World Cup 2012: Smit Patel happy to keep faith of the team in the final

Smit Patel, along with captain Unmukt Chand put on a 130-run unbeaten stand to guide India through against Australia in the final Getty Images

By CricketCountry Staff

Ahmedabad: Aug 27, 2012

Smit Patel announced his arrival into the big league with a crucial half century in the final against Australia to help India lift the Under-19 World Cup at Townsville in Australia on Sunday.

The 18-year-old, along with captain Unmukt Chand put on a 130-run unbeaten stand to guide India through.

Many in Gujarat are now seeing him as the man who can carry forward the lineage of Kiran More, Nayan Mongia and Parthiv Patel.

“I am just happy that I have been able to keep the faith of the team. I played my natural game without doing anything stupid. Unmukt was playing really well so I just stood there and decided to shut the Aussies out,” Smit was quoted saying by Times of India.

“Unmukt played a captain’s knock, but Smit’s innings was equally brilliant as it helped tilt the match in India’s favour. He played a very mature innings, a really coming-of-age by the young wicketkeeper-batsman,” said U-19 selector and team manager Pritam Gandhe from Australia.

“Even in that crucial match against Pakistan, he played a small, but important innings. He is a gutsy player and was not overawed by the situation.”

“This is one of the finest moments of our lives,” said his sister.

“I am already celebrating, but let him come back, we will have a grand party.”

“Smit has bridged the gap between having the talent and delivering when it matters. I see a very bright future for Smit because I don’t see any other wicketkeeper-batsman after MS Dhoni who can represent India,” added Trivedi.