Indian boys beat Pakistan in junior squash, create history
Indian junior squash team created history when they stunned arch-rivals and holders Pakistan in the 15th Asian Junior Team Championships in Colombo, to lift the prestigious title for the first time since its inception in 1981.
Playing in front of a packed house at the Sri Lankan Air Force base squash venue, the Indian players comprising of Ramit Tandon, Abhishek Pradhan, Mahesh Mangaonkar and Vrishab Kotian rose to the occasion as they outplayed the mighty Pakistanis.
The order of play for the day was 1-2-3.
The team”s number one player and captain Ramit Tandon, who had been untested so far, confirmed that he is certainly the most improved Indian squash player in recent times.
Playing Danish Atlas Khan, Pakistani”s number one player, Ramit displayed his amazing skills in the match that lasted 90 minutes.
After winning the first game 11-7, Ramit lost the second game 6-11, but came back strongly in the third winning it 11-9. Danish then took the fourth game 11-8. The two played great squash but Ramit had the last laugh when he sealed the issue with a backhand volley drop.
“I have not seen skills at this level amongst any Indian players in the last decade,” said Major (R) S. Maniam, consultant coach, SRFI.
Second ranked Abhishek Pradhan lost 0-3 to Nasir Iqbal, but Mahesh Mangaonkar beat Sadam Ul Haq in the decider.
“With this victory in hand, India are now the proud owners of three of the four Asian junior titles. 6 months ago, Ravi Dixit and Dipika Pallikal won the Asian Junior Individual Championship (Boys and Girls under 19 resp). Today we have won the Junior Boys Team,” said SRFI secretary general Srivatsan Subramaniam.
“This certainly augurs well for India squash, all the hard work put in by the players with the unvarying support from the federation and the government is producing the desired results,” said Maniam.
“This is certainly a dream come true. I am lost for words to express my delight. Ramit was certainly the hero of the day, he has worked so hard for this. It certainly is a great way to start the year,” said national coach Cyrus Poncha.
India beat Pakistan 2-1
Ramit Tandon bt Danish Atlas Khan 11/7 6/11 11/9 8/11 11/9;
Abhishek Pradhan lost to Nasir Iqbal 4/11 7/11 3/11
Mahesh Mangaonkar bt Sadam Ul Haq 11/7 11/2 11/6.