Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri, on Friday, picked the U-19 cricket team as favourites to win the World Cup final against Australia to be played at Mount Maunganui, in New Zealand, on Saturday.
"I watched them play against Pakistan. They are really good and deserve to be favourites going into the final. I wish them all the best," the Bengaluru FC captain told reporters on the eve of his side's Indian Super League fixture against ATK.
Three-time champions India thrashed Pakistan by 203 runs in the U-19 World Cup semi-finals for a record sixth final appearance.
Earlier on Wednesday, former India cricket captain Sourav Ganguly had also tipped India to win the final.
"India(will win U-19 World Cup). (The) U-19 team is playing very well. There are immensely talented boys like Prithwi Shaw, Shubman Gill, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Ishan Porel are players who have come up from the BCCI system. Our Board members have invested time to prepare them from the junior, under-19 and senior level," Ganguly said.
"You can't make players without structure. They are product of our system. In the next five years, barring Australia and England, Indian cricket will be the best in the world," he told reporters on the sidelines of the release of the 20th edition of Shelly's Cricket Year Book.
Ganguly was full of praise for Bengal youngsters Ishan Porel and Kanishk Seth who bowled extremely well in the U-19 World Cup.
"Ishan Porel is a product of CAB's Vision 20-20 programme. U-19 is just the beginning, the stepping stone of one's career. He has a long way to go. Porel stays in Bali. We from CAB will provide him with all help," the Cricket Association of Bengal president said.
India captain Virat Kohli also backed the national U-19 squad to win the World Cup final against Australia and said he will be closely tracking the title clash on Saturday.
"It feels amazing (to see them do well). I interacted with them before they left and it’s a lovely bunch of boys. Compared to our lot (when India won in 2008 under Kohli), the confidence levels are somewhere else which is a great sign," said Kohli ahead of the first ODI against South Africa on Thursday.
"You’ll see many people making a strong statement for themselves much earlier than we all did. They’ve done amazingly well and the semi-final (against Pakistan) was an amazing game."
Kohli said the boys look set to win a record fourth U-19 world title.
"Playing such a high pressure game (against Pakistan), they really stood up and that’s what you want to see. You want to see people standing up when it’s needed the most. I want to wish them all the very best for the final.
"We’ll all be following very keenly and we’ll be eagerly waiting to see them lift the Cup again. I believe they have the talent, and they believe in that much more than I do, which I think is very, very important," he signed off.