How Venkatesh Prasad pushed BCCI to select these players
Former India fast bowler Venkatesh Prasad revealed how he once wrote to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in order to accelerate the growth of Rohit Sharma, Piyush Chawla and Cheteshwar Pujara. The three players contributed significantly in India's Under-19 World Cup campaign (2006). Prasad reiterated he pushed the cricket board to consider them for domestic cricket. Here is more.
I mentioned these players to BCCI in my report: Prasad
"I had no doubt about their talent. In fact, the moment the U-19 World Cup (2006) was over, I did write to BCCI in my report saying that these players should be fast-tracked into playing Ranji Trophy or the zone matches," he said.
The trio grabbed eyeballs in the tournament
The likes of Piyush Chawla, Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara fared well for India in the 2006 Under-19 World Cup. Pujara was the leading run-scorer with 349 runs from six games at an average of 116.33. His compatriot Rohit too amassed 205 runs in as many matches at 41.00. Meanwhile, Piyush finished the tournament, having claimed 13 scalps at 12.15.
Maiden international appearances
Soon after, leg-spinner Piyush Chawla made his international debut in a Test against England at Mohali. A year later, Rohit Sharma was handed his maiden international cap in an ODI against Ireland at the Civil Service Cricket Club. However, Pujara waited four years to earn his debut call-up. He played his debut Test against Australia in 2010 at Bengaluru.
Achievements of Pujara and Rohit in international cricket
While Chawla's international career was cut-short due to inconsistency, Pujara and Rohit cemented their spots in the Indian team. Rohit has been a mainstay opener for Team India across formats, having aggregated 14,029 international runs at 44.39. He holds the record of highest individual score in ODI cricket (264 vs SL). Besides, Pujara has braced the number three position in Test cricket with precision.