ICC U19 World Cup: A world record holder, a Kargil war veteran’s son and a host of talent - All you need to about India U19 team
Defending champions India start their campaign against Sri Lanka in the ICC U19 cricket World Cup at Bloemfontein, South Africa on Sunday. The U19 World Cup has always been a launching pad for young Indian cricketers aspiring to make it big later at the international level. The 2020 edition of the U19 World Cup too promises something similar with 15 of the country’s best young talents aiming to bring the cup home for the fifth time.
Here’s a closer look at India’s U19 World Cup squad
Priyam Garg (c)
Role: Middle-order batsman
The 19-year-old right-handed middle-order batsman Priyam Garg will lead India’s campaign at the U19 World Cup. Garg, who grew up in a small town near Meerut, started making the mark while playing for U-14 and U-16 Uttar Pradesh teams. When he was all of 12, he struck a half-century in his first season for the Uttar Pradesh U-14 team. Garg grew among the ranks and was in contention for the U-19 World Cup-bound cricket team even back in 2018. But due to a slew of poor performances, he was eventually not included in the squad. The batsman did not lose hope and went on to make an immediate mark on his Ranji Trophy debut, scoring a ton against Goa for Uttar Pradesh. In 12 first-class matches so far, Garg has 867 runs, with two centuries, at an amazing average of 66.69. His highest score is 206. In 15 List A matches, Garg has 539 runs with one century. At the IPL Auctions, he was picked up by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 1.9 crore.
Role: Top-order batsman, leg-spinner
Not too long ago Yashasvi Jaiswal had to sell panipuri to make a living in Mumbai. He moved to Mumbai from Uttar Pradesh when he was 11-year-old to pursue dreams of becoming a cricketer. But he had to live in a tent in the city and do menial jobs to make a living. The 17-year-old from Suriya village in Uttar Pradesh displayed stellar form this season for Mumbai in the domestic season. In the prestigious Vijay Hazare Trophy in September-October, the right-hander struck 203 off 154 balls, including 12 sixes and 17 boundaries, to become the youngest batsman to hit a double hundred in List A cricket. He struck another ton against Afghanistan U19 in Lucknow last year, which earned him a spot in India’s squad. He tallied an impressive 564 runs at an average of 112.80 with three hundreds and a fifty during this season. He was bought by Rs 2.4 crore by Rajasthan Royals at the auction.
Role: Middle-order batsman
The 17-year-old Tilak Varma from Hyderabad recently gained recognition after he struck a century against Pakistan in the U19 Asia Cup quarterfinal in September last year. He followed it up with another ton for India B against India C in the U-19 One-Day Challenger Trophy match. The left-hander has trained under coach Salay Bayash at the Legala Cricket Academy since he was 10. In an interview with Sportstar, Bayash claimed that Tilak scored 460 runs with two centuries and two fifties in a South Zone U-14 grade match. Tilak made his Ranji Trophy debut against Andhra last season at Vizianagaram, but he failed to shine with the bat. But he was impressive in the recently concluded series against Afghanistan U19 and South Africa U19, where he contributed with both bat and ball.
Role: Left-handed bat
The 18-year-old Divyaansh Saxena has been a regular for India U19 team since last year. The left-hander hammered a ton in the four-day Test match against South Africa in February last year. Later, in the tri-series final against Bangladesh U19, Saxena scored a brisk fifty to help his side to the title win. He scored another half-century in the Youth ODI against South Africa last month, where he remained unbeaten on 86. He followed it up with an unbeaten 128 against Zimbabwe U19 last week.
Dhruv Chand Jurel
The 18-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Dhruv Chand Jurel is the son of a Kargil war veteran who served in the Indian Arm in the Jat Regiment, Nem Singh Jurel. The batsman led India in the U-19 Youth Asia Cup in Colombo last year. He made a name for himself after he smashed a brisk 59 in the tri-nation tournament final at Hove in England against Bangladesh, and helped his side chase down a total of 262. As a 14-year-old, Jurel made headlines when he scored a 21-ball 100 in a local T20 match in Agra. In his debut season for Uttar Pradesh in the Cooch Behar Trophy in 2018, he smashed 736 runs in 11 matches at an average of 61.33. He recently also scored a half-century in the Youth ODI against South Africa U19 team this month.
Role: Left-handed batsman, right-arm medium-fast bowler
The 18-year-old Shashwat Rawat made his debut for India U19 team last year at the U19 Asia Cup. He had previously captained Baroda’s U19 team in the Cooch Behar Trophy and the U19 Vinoo Mankad Trophy. He made his debut for Baroda U19 team in 2018. The Uttarakhand cricketer earned the spotlight when he scored a half-century in the Youth ODI match for India U19 against Afghanistan in Lucknow in November to help his side to a win. He was named the player of the match for his performance.
Role: Left-handed bat, right-arm fast medium
A last-minute addition to India’s squad in the U19 World Cup, all-rounder Siddhesh Veer was drafted into the side in place of injured Divyansh Joshi, who was ruled out with a dislocated right shoulder. Veer, who comes from Maharashtra, played in the quadrangular one-day series involving New Zealand and South Africa U19 teams before the World Cup. He scored 71 in India’s win over New Zealand opening the batting and then hit 48* in the final against South Africa batting at No.6 on Thursday, which India won by 69 runs. He also picked up a wicket in that game.
Role: Left-arm spinner
Shubhang Hegde made a name for himself when he was roped in by Belagavi Panthers in Karnataka Premier League in 2017, at the age of 17. The left-arm spinner has so far picked up 15 wickets in 21 matches in the tournament. Hegde, who hails from Bengaluru, has played 1 first-class match and four List A one-day matches in his career. He has also represented India in 12 Youth ODIs, in which he has picked 19 wickets in 12 matches at an average of 20.42 and an economy rate of 3.80.
Role: Right-arm leg-break
The right-arm leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi has been a regular for Rajasthan’s domestic team. In four Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy games for Rajasthan in the 2018 season, Bishnoi has taken four wickets at an average of 19.75. He played only two games last year and returned with two wickets. The lanky bowler also possesses hitting abilities lower down the order. He smashed valuable 22 runs in the Syed Mushtaq semifinal match against Tamil Nadu. He played 5 Vijay Hazare matches for Rajasthan last year, in which he picked up seven wickets. He was included in India A’s squad in the Deodhar Trophy, but he only played one match in the series, in which he picked up one wicket. He has played 7 matches for India’s U19 team, in which he has picked up 12 wickets at an economy of 4.37. He was bought by Kings XI Punjab for Rs 2 crore at the auctions this year.
Role: Left-arm fast bowler
The 17-year-old Akash Singh, who hails from Bharatpur, Rajasthan, has garnered attention since he picked three wickets in the U19 Asia Cup final in August last year, against Bangladesh to help his side defend a meager total of 106. The left-arm went on to become a regular for India U19 in Youth ODIs since then. He made his T20 debut for Rajasthan in November at Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament, in which he picked up two wickets for 26 runs in his four overs.
Role: Right-arm fast bowler
The tall right-arm seamer Kartik Tyagi, who hails from Uttar Pradesh, made it to India’s U19 team last year and made his debut in the tri-series in England. He made his debut for Uttar Pradesh Ranji Trophy team in the 2017-18 season at the age of 17, after a series of impressive performances in the U19 Cooch Behar Trophy. In the tri-series, he picked up nine wickets in five matches. Against Afghanistan U-19 in Lucknow last year, Tyagi returned with six wickets in three matches. He was bought by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 1.3 crore at the IPL Auctions.
Role: Left-arm spinner
Atharva Ankolekar gained recognition after he picked up a fifer in the U19 Asia Cup final against Bangladesh to help his side defend the meagre total of 106 last year. Ankolekar finished with figures of 5/28 as India won the match by five runs to clinch the title. He finished the tournament as the highest wicket-taker with 12 wickets. So far, in his career, the bowler has played 10 Youth ODIs, in which he has taken 27 wickets at an average of 9.51 and an economy rate of 3.04.
Kumar Kushagra has been included in the squad as the back-up keeper. The right-handed batsman has played 9 Youth ODIs in his career so far, in which he has amassed 152 runs, at an average of 25.33, according to Wisden.
Role: Left-arm fast bowler
The 19-year-old fast bowler from Jharkhand Sushant Mishra caught the eye of the selectors with his performance in the junior domestic tournaments. The left-arm seamer has played 13 Youth ODIs for India so far, in which he has taken 29 wickets at an average of 16.10 and an economy rate of 4.54.
Role: Right-arm medium-fast bowler
Vidyadhar Patil made his debut for India U19 team in the tri-series in England last year. The right-arm, later, was picked up by Hubli Tigers in the Karnataka Premier League last season, in which he returned with five wickets in three games. He has been a regular in Youth ODIs for India, since last July, and recently picked up two wickets against New Zealand U19 to help his side to a win.
India U19 squad for World Cup: Yashasvi Jaiswal (MCA), Tilak Varma (Hyderabad CA), Divyaansh Saxena (MCA), Priyam Garg (Captain) (UPCA), Dhruv Chand Jurel (vice-captain & wicket-keeper) (UPCA), Shashwat Rawat (Baroda CA), Siddhesh Veer (MAHCA) Shubhang Hegde (KSCA), Ravi Bishnoi (RCA), Akash Singh (RCA), Kartik Tyagi (UPCA), Atharva Ankolekar (MCA), Kumar Kushagra (wicket-keeper) (JSCA), Sushant Mishra (JSCA), Vidyadhar Patil (KSCA)