The scorecard showed India needing one run to win of 68 balls. The Indian team stood expectantly and excitedly by the boundary ropes, arms around each other. Harvik Desai took guard. Will Sutherland’s bowled full and Desai sliced the ball inside-out over backward point. The ball raced to the fence. The batsmen in the middle jumped-up in joy as the Indian team came running in from the side-lines. India won the U-19 Cricket World Cup for the fourth time. No team had won the championship four times. History was made.
Prithvi Shaw led India’s under-19 team won the world cup after six years. India’s pervious title had come in 2012 under Unmukt Chand’s leadership. This time around India romped home, undefeated.
The Indian under-19 team has produced some of the finest cricketers to have played for the country in recent times. Noteworthy names include Yuvraj Singh (member of the 2000 world cup winning team), Virat Kohli (captain of the 2008 world cup winning team), Mohammad Kaif (captain of the 2000 world cup winning team) among others. It has been the breeding ground for some of India’s finest young talent.
This time, too, some stellar performances have made this win this possible.
- Prithvi Shaw
Indian captain Prithvi Shaw has been the talk of the tournament. He has represented the Middle-Income Group Cricket Club in Mumbai and has captained the Rizvi Springfield High School under-16 cricket team. He held the record for the highest score in an innings by any batsmen in organised cricket when he scored 546 in a Harris Shield game in 2013. That record was broken by Pranav Dhanawade in early 2016.
Shaw scored 261 runs in the tournament at an impressive average of 65.25. He has become the highest scoring Indian captain at the under-19 cricket world cup. His consistent performances in India’s youth cricketing circuit have brought him into the limelight. Delhi Daredevils signed him for Rs 1.2 crore for upcoming 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
- Shubman Gill
Vice-captain Shubman Gill has been India’s top-scorer in the top-scorer in the tournament. He has come through as a big match player and has consistently been amongst the runs. He made List A debut for Punjab in the Vijay Hazare trophy in February 2017 followed by his first-class debut for Punjab in November.
Gill scored 372 runs in the series. His stats include top score of 102 not out and three half-centuries. He was named Player of the tournament for his performance. Gill was bought by the Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 1.8 crore in the IPL auction.
- Kamlesh Nagarkoti
Kamlesh Nagarkoti has impressed one and all with his express pace in the under-19 world cup. The Rajasthan pacer has consistently clocked speeds above 140 km/hour. Prior to the tournament he played for the Rajasthan under-16 and under-19 teams. He ended the tournament with nine wickets. His best figures read 3/18 against Bangladesh.
Nagarkoti was snapped by the Knight Riders for a whopping Rs 3.2 crores.
- Shivam Mavi
Another young pacer, Shivam Mavi, has grabbed eyeballs in the tournament. Like Nagarkoti, Mavi has repeatedly bowled in the 140s. He picked-up nine scalps in the world cup. The young Uttar Pradesh lad kept up his pace and exhibited control, something which is indispensable to a fast-bowler. He may well become India’s next lead-pacer from Uttar Pradesh after Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Mavi has played for Uttar Pradesh under-19 before he played for India.
The Knight Riders bought Mavi for a thumping Rs 3 crore.
Mavi and Nagarkoti are bright prospects for India’s future. India has always been in search of good fast bowlers. Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Mohammad Shami have done well for India in recent times. However, next generation of Indian pacers needs to be groomed.
Its good news for Indian cricket that these players have attracted huge sums in the IPL. They will rub shoulders with the best in business and grow as cricketers and in turn be assets for the Indian team in the near future.
- Anukul Roy
Anukul Roy is budding all-rounder from Jharkhand. The young left-arm orthodox spinner is India’s highest wicket-keeper and the joint highest wicket-keeper in the tournament with 14 scalps. His 14 wickets include a five-for against Papua New Guinea. The Mumbai Indians have bought Roy for his base price of 20 lakh in the IPL auction.
These young boys have great prospects. They play in the IPL next and have the best possible opportunity to play with and against the best in cricket. They will be guided by some of the best minds in the game and will certainly grow as cricketers.
A bright future with the blue-jersey awaits these young players.