The ICC U19 Cricket World Cup is an arena for young players to make a mark at the international level and Indian colts have done so in the past by winning the competition thrice (2000, 2008 and 2012).
Over the years, the tournament has also given Team India huge stars like Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja and Yuvraj Singh. With the 2016 U-19 World Cup starting on January 27, here’s a look at the five Indian youngsters who will be vital in India’s effort to become junior world champions for a record 4th time.
The 17-year old from Bihar is an important part of the Indian batting line up and is also the captain of the side for the upcoming ICC U-19 World Cup. The left hander has already scored one century and five half-centuries in his ten first-class matches and his 138 against Canada in the warm up match earlier this month clearly showed his technical flamboyance as a batsman. The youngster also had the oppurtunity to learn a thing or two from Indian ODI captain MS Dhoni while playing for Jharkhand in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
The all-rounder from Tamil Nadu opens the batting for the India U-19 team and was a huge factor in his team’s success in the tri-series featuring Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The 16-year old part-time off spinner also put up strong batting and bowling performances in the U-19 Challenger Cup. Thanks to his all round performances, he can be one of the trump cards for India in the tournament.
The 18-year old batsman from Mumbai is clearly the most well known member of the Indian U-19 team thanks to his stint with Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2015. Sarfaraz’s explosive batting made him an instant crowd favourite and he will also be an asset to his team as he was also a part of the Indian squad which competed in the 2015 ICC U-19 World Cup.
The fast bowler from Madhya Pradesh made the headlines by bowling a delivery closed to 140 kmph against Pakistan in the last edition of the U-19 World Cup. Since then, he has made his Ranji Trophy debut for Madhya Pradesh and was able to take four wickets against Uttar Pradesh in his second match. The young pacer is well known for his economical bowling and many experts consider him to be the next fast bowling sensation for India.
The youngster from Uttarakhand is the first choice wicketkeeper for the Indian team, but he is well known in the domestic circuit for his explosive batting. He was one of the leading run-getters for India in the tri-series and thanks to his impressive performance, he was named as captain of the India Green side for the U19 Challenger Series.