Three players from Punjab and one from Himachal Pradesh have been selected in the India under-19 squad that will participate in next month's quadrilateral series involving England, South Africa and hosts Australia.
Punjab medium pacers Kamal Passi and Sandeep Sharma and openers Manan Vohra of Punjab and Prashant Chopra of Himachal Pradesh were among the 16 picked on the basis of their performances in a three-match series played as a part of the selection camp at National Cricket Academy, Bangalore.
An elated Vohra, who has started practising on cemented surfaces with tennis and plastic balls in order to get accustomed to the pitches in Australia, said: "It is a very important series for all of us, since the U-19 World Cup will also be played in Australia in August. Good performances will help me stake claim to a berth in the World Cup squad. I like handling the short-pitched stuff, so I'm excited at the prospect of playing on the bouncy pitches Down Under."
Vohra, who struck two half-centuries in the practice matches, was a part of the Punjab Ranji team in the 2011-12 season, as were Sharma and Passi. The trio had also helped India win an under-19 quadrangular series involving Sri Lanka, West Indies and Australia in Visakhapatnam last September.
Shiv, Chopra's father who is a coach at Chandigarh's Sector 16 cricket stadium, said: "I'm very happy that my son's been selected. Good performances in the upcoming series can get him into the World Cup, which can be a stepping stone for a senior team berth." Chopra has represented Himachal Pradesh in the under-15, -16 and -19 age categories, and has also been a part of his state's List A team over the past two domestic seasons.