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India’s under-19 stars gear up to take the Indian Premier League plunge

Players form India’s World Cup winning under-19 team will be looking to make their mark in the Indian Premier League.

cricket Updated: Apr 07, 2018 20:05 IST
Shalini Gupta
Shalini Gupta
Hindustan Times, Mohali
Indian Premier League,Delhi Daredevils,Abhishek Sharma
Prithvi Shaw will be playing in his first Indian Premier League.(PTI)

The family of left-arm spinner, Abhishek Sharma, member of the victorious U-19 World Cup in New Zealand, will travel to Mohali from Amritsar to watch Kings XI Punjab take on Delhi Daredevils in the IPL on Sunday. However, they will be rooting for Delhi as Abhishek and his U-19 teammates Prithvi Shaw and Manjot Kalra will turn out for the Gautam Gambhir-led team.

Four other U-19 World Cup team members are in IPL. While fast bowlers Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti, and the Player-of-the-Tournament, Shubman Gill, will wear Kolkata Knight Riders colours, spinner Anukul Roy will play for Mumbai Indians.

“IPL is huge. We have been watching it on television for the past decade. We will feel proud to see Abhishek compete in the tournament with top international cricketers and share the dressing room with established names,” Abhishek’s father,

Raj Kumar Sharma, in Mohali with daughters Saaniya and Komal, said.

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“There is no doubt the U-19 bunch that won the World Cup was oozing with talent. It is wonderful to see them join the big lads in IPL and get into T20 mode. However, we should not forget they were in safe hands of (coach) Rahul Dravid, who kept them grounded. It is very important they don’t get swayed by the incentives IPL provide. Unnecessary media attention and glamour can take away all the focus,” said former India wicketkeeper, Ajay Ratra, a member of the victorious 2000 U-19 squad.

The base price of all seven junior stars was Rs 20 lakh. Left-arm quickie Kamlesh Nagarkoti emerged the costliest and Shivam Mavi second most expensive (KKR bought them for Rs 3.2 crore and Rs 3 crore respectively).

“These teenagers should realise IPL is not their final

destination and doing well for their states in domestic cricket only can land them a berth in the Indian team. I met national selector Sarandeep Singh the other day; he is clear players doing well in IPL can only be given a break into the Indian T20 team. If they remain focused for the next two years, they will definitely shine and be in Indian colours,” added Ratra.

READ | Liam Plunkett replaces Kagiso Rabada in Delhi Daredevils squad for IPL 2018

Punjab’s Shubman Gill (bought for Rs 1.8 crore), the batting start of that junior campaign, will also play for KKR. “I have seen him from close quarters, the way he played in his debut Ranji season was enough to tell about his abilities. All eyes will be on him whenever he plays for KKR,” added Ratra.

Former India batsman, Praveen Amre, Delhi Daredevils Head of Talent Hunt, said his team had always backed youth.

“Delhi Daredevils has always believed in investing in the future.

Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant also came from U-19 pool of talent and now have become our mainstay batsmen. Prithvi Shaw, Manjot Kalra and Abhishek Sharma did well in the U-19 World Cup and we are happy to have bought them.”

READ | BCCI a commercial hit, but administrative row continues to drag it down

Kings XI Punjab has roped in 17-year-old Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Zadran, who also played in the U-19 World Cup. Bought for Rs 4 crore, he will hope to emulate compatriot Rashid Khan’s success with Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Shubman Gill (Rs 1.8 cr)

Kolkata Knight Riders

Kamlesh Nagarkoti (Rs 3.2 cr)

Kolkata Knight Riders

Shivam Mavi (Rs 3 crore)

Kolkata Knight Riders

Prithvi Shaw (Rs 1.2 crore)

Delhi Daredevils

Abhishek Sharma (Rs 55 lakh)

Delhi Daredevils

Manjot Kalra (Rs 20 lakh)

Delhi Daredevils

Anukul Roy (Rs 20 lakh)

Mumbai Indians

Mujeeb Zadran

Kings XI Punjab (Rs 4 crore)

First Published: Apr 07, 2018 20:05 IST