New Delhi, Jan 30 (PTI) Indian racqueters today createdhistory when they stunned arch-rivals and holders Pakistan inthe 15th Asian Junior Team Championships in Colombo, to liftthe prestigious title for the first time since its inceptionin 1981.
Playing in front of a packed house at the Sri Lankan AirForce base squash venue, the Indian players comprising ofRamit Tandon, Abhishek Pradhan, Mahesh Mangaonkar and VrishabKotian rose to the occasion as they outplayed the mightyPakistanis.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 certainlythe 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 90minutes.
After winning the first game 11-7, Ramit lost the secondgame 6-11, but came back strongly in the third winning it11-9. Danish then took the fourth game 11-8. The two playedgreat squash but Ramit had the last laugh when he sealed theissue with a backhand volley drop.
"I have not seen skills at this level amongst any Indianplayers 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 proudowners of three of the four Asian junior titles. 6 months ago,Ravi Dixit and Dipika Pallikal won the Asian Junior IndividualChampionship (Boys and Girls under 19 resp). Today we have wonthe Junior Boys Team," said SRFI secretary general SrivatsanSubramaniam.
"This certainly augurs well for India squash, all thehard work put in by the players with the unvarying supportfrom the federation and the government is producing thedesired results," said Maniam.
"This is certainly a dream come true. I am lost for wordsto express my delight. Ramit was certainly the hero of theday, he has worked so hard for this. It certainly is a greatway 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 8/1111/9; Abhishek Pradhan lost to Nasir Iqbal 4/11 7/11 3/11Mahesh Mangaonkar bt Sadam Ul Haq 11/7 11/2 11/6.