Indian cricketers at Under 19 World Cup have performed exceedingly well in the domestic circuit as well as in international competitions. The 12th edition of this junior level ICC event will see 16 young teams fight for the coveted trophy. Hosted in New Zealand this time, the under-19 world cup will commence in the second week of January, 2018.
The earlier batch of Indian cricketers at under 19 world cup have won the tournament thrice. In the year 2000, under Mohammed Kaif, in 2008 a young Virat led the side, and in 2012 Unmukt Chand was the captain. In last edition of 2016, India again reached the final, but West Indies got better of us in Bangladesh.
The Indian cricketers at under 19 world cup will start their campaign against Australia on 14th January.
Indian cricketers at under 19 world cup – The team Build Up
Historically, India has always been one of the stronger teams through ICC U19 Cricket World Cups. Along with three titles, we are also two time runner-up. In fact, in the 2016 edition we were unbeaten in the whole tournament, except the finals. A strong bowling performance by the West Indies denied Indian cricketers at the under 19 world cup, a fourth title.
The Indian side completed a clean sweep in both the 50-over and four-day formats in England recently. However, they could not manage to reach the knockout stages of the Asia Cup in Malaysia. It was won by Afghanistan. Building up to the team preparations, the squad had a camp in Bengaluru. It was under the watchful eyes of Coach Rahul Dravid. The probable Indian cricketers at under 19 world cup played three practice matches against the batch of 2016.
This time to, Indian cricket team is a strong side with seven of the players having the experience of first-class cricket. With a good mix of variety in both batting and bowling the youngsters look a promising bunch of people ready to win in the Kiwiland.
In this article we will profile 5 best cricketers among the 15 selected, who will have to take it up on them, if India has to win the championship a record 4th time:
Indian cricketers at under 19 world cup – Captain Prithvi Shaw – 18 years
When 17 year old Prithvi Shaw faced New Zealand for India Board President’s XI in 2017, it looked like the Kiwi attack featuring Trent Boult and Tim Southee will prove too much for him to tackle. But, Prithvi proved the doubters wrong. He went on to play a solid 66-run inning. Even Trent Boult was impressed by the youngster.
The right-hand batsman from Thane, Mumbai has battled odds all his life. A 15-year old Prithvi made a mark with his tremendous record in the prestigious Harris Shield Trophy. Playing in an inter school match for Rizvi Springfield against St Francis D’Assisi, Borivali the young boy smashed 546 runs in an innings and created a national record. His innings comprised of 85 boundaries and five sixes. Shaw also became the first cricketer to score over 500 runs in an official inter-school match.
On the back of some tremendous innings played throughout the year, his selection for Mumbai Ranji team was natural. The youngster repaid the faith of his selection and smashed three hundreds and two fifties, in five matches for Mumbai. He scored 521 runs this domestic season at an average of 57.88 and is the second highest run-scorer from Maharashtra.
A lot will depend on Prithvi’s batting and the start he gives to the Indian team. Wish him all the luck for the tournament.
Indian cricketers at under 19 world cup – Vice captain – Shubhman Gill
Just like Prithvi Shaw, Shubhman is also strong pillar for Indian cricketers at under 19 world cup. The 18 year old became the fourth youngest player for Punjab to hit a First Class century in a Ranji Trophy. The Punjab batsman, bats at number three for the Indian under-19 team. On the 2017 England tour he scored 278 runs in just four innings at an average of 93 and a strike-rate of over 100.
The young Punjabi was also the top-run getter in the Vijay Merchant trophy for two successive years. He will look to cash-in at the u-19 world cup and make a strong case for him in future.
Along with Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill forms the vital cog in India’s wheel at the under-19 World Cup.
As Prithvi Shaw is in prime form the bowlers will tend to concentrate more on the Mumbaikar than Shubman. This will be a good opportunity for team India to present a double whammy to the opposition bowlers.
Indian cricketers at under 19 world cup – Ishan Porel – 19 years
In New Zealand, more than the batsman it is up to the bowlers to get the job done for their team. West Bengal pacer Ishan Porel is an integral part of the Indian cricketers at under 19 world cup. His experience of playing among the seniors for India A side, will come in handy for Prithvi and co. when they take the field in New Zealand.
Ishan had a memorable debut season in Ranji Trophy. He took 13 wickets at an average of just over 21 in five innings. He was not part of the under-19 camp in Bengaluru as he got call up from his Ranji team to take part in the semi-final against Delhi.
The 2014-15 season was Ishan’s first stepping stone to greater things. As a part of Bengal Under-16s, he travelled across the border to play the Bangladesh Under-16 team. There he claimed a five-for in the first game, and finished with eight wickets in three matches. At only 15, Ishan was selected to play for Bengal Under-19. From that time onwards Porel flourished as a bowler.
Ishan Porel is in the prime of his career and could not have picked a better time to peak. A year ago, he was not even being considered for the u-19 world cup, but after a successful first class season, he will perform in New Zealand with confidence.
Indian cricketers at under 19 world cup – Pankaj Yadav – 16 years
Born in 2002 to a milkman and part time Bhojpuri Bhajan singer Chandra Dev Yadav, Pankaj is the only leg spinner in the u-19 world cup side. He was the third-highest wicket-taker in the Under-16 Vijay Merchant Trophy in the 2016-2017 season. His best was 7 for 40 against the formidable Bengal side.
On back of these performances Pankaj earned a call up in the Challenger Trophy. After not getting a chance to play in the first game, he took nine wickets in the next three matches. His performance also includes a five wicket haul in the third-place playoff. His bowling was good enough to pip Rahul Chahar, who was the under 19 team’s first-choice leg-spinner over the past year.
Traditionally, New Zealand is known to be a seam bowlers paradise. This is due the hint of moisture that is often found in the wickets there. However, moisture also assists spinners, and a ball bowled with enough revolutions will grip and turn. India play their first match against the Aussie under 19’s, who also are the title favorites. The Australians are more at home against pace; the stage is perfectly set for Pankaj to use his deceivers and help the team win the trophy.
Indian Cricketers at Under 19 World Cup – Abhishek Sharma – 17 years
With bowlers and batters, team is incomplete without all-rounders. Punjab all-rounder Abhishek Sharma bats left-handed and bowls slow left arm spinners. He was highest wicket-taker in the Vijay Merchant Trophy in 2016. He is a vital element from the Indian cricketers at under 19 world cup.
When India U-19 team toured the UK in 2016, Abhishek smashed 293 runs at an average of 93. He is regular member of his Ranji side and should use that experience with good effect in New Zealand.
Abhishek Sharma had a great start to his sub-junior career. He dominated the Vijay Merchant (under-16) trophy, helping Punjab to two titles and three finals in the three years he was in the team. The 2015-16 season was special for the all-rounder. He became the highest run-getter amassing 1200 runs; this was 500 runs clear of the No. 2. Sharma was the leading wicket taker as well, with 57 wickets, again 20 wickets clear of the no 2 on the list.
Abhishek made an impressive start at the under-19 career. His first tournament was the under-19 Asia Cup in 2016. Abhishek’s talent was earmarked early when at just 16; he was appointed as the captain of that squad.
Like the under 19 debut, he also had a great start to his first-class career as well. He almost made a century on debut, scoring 94. The all-rounder followed it up with 49 runs and four wickets in a losing cause against eventual winners Vidarbha.
Abhishek Sharma along with the other four mentioned on the list have a huge role to play in the under 19 world cup 2018. From all of us at team KreedOn we wish the young boys all the best.
Indian Cricketers at Under 19 World Cup – Full Squad:
Prithvi Shaw(c), Shubman Gill, Manjot Kalra, Himanshu Rana, Abhishek Sharma, Riyan Parag, Harvik Desai, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Ishan Porel, Anukul Sudhakar Roy, Shiva Singh, Aryan Juyal, Arshdeep Singh and Pankaj Yadav