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During his coaching tenure of the India U19 cricket team in 2006, the former Indian cricketer Venkatesh Prasad learnt the talent and capabilities of the teenager cricketers Piyush Chawla, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma. At that time, Prasad even mentioned their names to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in his development report.
Under Venkatesh Prasad’s coaching, Ravikant Shukla-led India U19 team finished as the runners-up in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2006 after losing the low-scoring final against Pakistan U19. During that tournament, Prasad liked the talents of the leg-spinner Piyush Chawla and batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma.
I had no doubt about their talent and their capabilities: Venkatesh Prasad about Piyush Chawla, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma
In his post-U19 World Cup report, Venkatesh Prasad even wrote their names to the BCCI as he felt that they were capable enough to feature in the senior domestic matches.
Prasad told FanCode, “These three guys – Piyush Chawla, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma I had no doubt about their talent and their capabilities. I knew very well that they’re going to go a long way. 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, this is what I had said.”
At the end of that ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2006, Pujara won the Player of the Tournament award for ending as the leading run-scorer (349 runs) in that tournament. Meanwhile, Rohit was the third most run-scorer for India U19 in that tournament as he scored 205 runs in six games of that tournament with an average of 41.00, including three fifties.
On the other hand, Chawla finished as India’s most wicket-taker in that tournament after finishing with 13 wickets.
Chawla made his international debut in 2006, but his international career hasn’t gone far as he has played three Tests, 25 ODIs and seven T20Is till 2012. Despite playing lesser international matches, he was a member of India’s World Cup-winning campaign in the 2011 edition.
Though the 31-year-old Chawla is currently active in Indian domestic cricket, he is not in the contention of the Indian team. The leg-spinner is currently the joint third-most wicket-taker (150 wickets) in the IPL history.
However, Pujara and Rohit are not only active in the Indian team, they are the crucial members of the side. While the 32-year-old Pujara is maintaining his Test career successfully, the 33-year-old Rohit is already a successful limited-overs cricketer, and he is now developing in the Test cricket too. While Pujara has played 77 Tests and five ODIs, Rohit has played 32 Tests, 224 ODIs and 108 T20Is.
Rohit was also a member during India’s victory in the ICC World T20 2007 and ICC Champions Trophy 2013.