The U19 Cricket World Cup is in full flow in New Zealand, and if India’s first match against Australia is anything to go by, we are serious contenders for the title. Before this, several Indian and international players made their mark in this tournament, so you can say it is a good opportunity to watch out for future stars.
Let’s take a look at some of the contemporary cricketers who first shone at this stage.
Virat Kohli first made his mark in this tournament in style — by winning it as a captain in 2008. “It was the best thing to have happened in my life. From there on, I got recognition to get into the reckoning for the Indian team. Obviously, coming into the IPL, it was like a high – winning the U 19 World Cup. If you ask me about the whole experience there, I think from the start, when we left Bangalore, we were very confident about our team. Because we had played against almost every team that was in the competition and beaten them convincingly. It was a confident feeling altogether in the team. Till the finals, it was a dream run. We were a bit nervous during the finals. Because everyone had that thin in mind about India losing the finals,” he said in an interview with Star Sports.
In the 2006 U19 World Cup, Ravindra Jadeja was the vice captain, and took a crucial three wickets in the finals even though we lost the game against Pakistan. We all know what he can do now, with the ball. Him and R Ashwin are rightfully called the spin twins.
The Pakistan wicketkeeper-captain made his mark in the 2006 U19 World Cup (he was the captain then too), by defending a total of 109. India could not chase down that target and were not even able to chase that down despite quality batsmen like Rohit Sharma and CHeteshwar Pujara in their ranks. They were 6 down for just 9 runs, with Piyush Chawla salvaging some pride by scoring 25 runs.
Even though, India won the 2008 edition of the U19 World Cup, Tim Southee was the player of tournament. His talent was on display, and today, he has 208 Test wickets, 171 ODI wickets and 54 T20I wickets. Pretty neat stats.
For those who didn’t know, Eoin Morgan represented Ireland at the international stage before shifting base to England. He was the captain of the Irish team in the 2006 U19 World Cup, and is now the captain of the English team in ODIs and T20Is.