U-19 Cricket World Cup 2018: Mohali’s Shubman, Chandigarh’s Arshdeep to don India cap
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U-19 Cricket World Cup 2018: Mohali’s Shubman, Chandigarh’s Arshdeep to don India cap

While Shubman has been a cricketer to reckon with for five years, Arshdeep’s emergence in junior circuit is recent.

punjab Updated: Dec 04, 2017 14:13 IST
Shalini Gupta
Shalini Gupta
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
U-19 Cricket World Cup,Shubman,Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill will strengthen the team’s batting lineup while Arshdeep Singh will add pace to the bowling attack in the international event that begins in New Zealand on January 13.(HT File)

When the Indian youth team goes for the ICC U-19 World Cup in New Zealand next month, on the plane will be two 18-year-old cricketers from the region — Shubman Gill of Mohali and Arshdeep Singh of Chandigarh.

A seasoned batsman, Shubman will be the vice-captain of the team, and the 6-foot-2-inch-tall Arshdeep will strengthen the pace attack in the mega event.

The 16-team event will be held in the island nation from January 13 to February 3.

The speedster

While Shubman has been a cricketer to reckon with in the junior circuit for five years now, the left-arm pacer Arshdeep’s emergence in the cricket circles has been recent. Known for his accuracy and speed, Arshdeep touched the 140kmph mark bowling for India Red in the recently conducted U-19 one-day limited overs Challenger Trophy in Mumbai.

“I bowled a quick delivery against the Sri Lankan team. After the match, everyone got to know from the speedometer that I touched the 140kmph mark. I have to be consistent and remain in the 135-140 kmph zone during the World Cup. The pitches in New Zealand are going to suit the pacers,” said Arshdeep, who followed his father Darshan Lal’s footsteps and took to fast bowling when he started to train.

Arshdeep was included in the India U-19 team that played in the Youth Asia Cup in Malaysia last month. His inclusion took place on the recommendation of selector Venkatesh Prasad and coach Rahul Dravid when Anukul Roy had got injured.

Even though he bagged just one wicket in two matches, he impressed with his talent. “Siddharth Kaul’s selection from Chandigarh in the Indian team (senior) is an inspiration. I hope, just like him I also do well in the U-19 World Cup and help India win it,” said Arshdeep, who idolises Australia’s Mitchell Starc and will have Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Ishan Porel as fast bowling partners.

The vice-captain

Shubman, who is one of the most exciting cricketers in the India U-19 team, is also excited to be part of the World Cup team. “The amount of hard work we have done as a unit in the last one year will be tested in New Zealand. We all will be looking to secure a place in the final. We have a brilliant blend of talent in the team,” said Shubman, who made his Ranji Trophy debut for Punjab this season and scored 129 in his second match against Services.

Shubman had shifted from a remote place named Jalalabad in Fazilka district of Punjab to Mohali a decade ago to pursue cricket. India are the joint most successful team in the history of the tournament with Australia having won the title thrice.

In the last edition of the tournament in 2016 held in Bangladesh, India lost in the final against West Indies.

Shubman who earned a maiden India A call-up two months back, was ruled out of the one-day series against New Zealand A because of a side strain.

Incidentally, the fathers of both the cricketers have played a pivotal role in grooming them in the formative years and are their coaches. Shubman’s father Lakhwinder Singh helped him recover from an injury lately. Another Punjab lad Abhishek Sharma from Amritsar is part of the India U-19 team for the World Cup.

First Published: Dec 04, 2017 14:13 IST