The U19 World Cup is in full swing, and if the performances of our youngsters are anything to go by, we are in for a cracker of a World Cup that we might actually win again. The team is ably led by Prithvi Shaw, and even though we’ve had just one tough match (against Australia), the ruthlessness with which we’ve played against Papua New Guinea and Zimbabwe, shows the character of the team. A lot of credit must go to coach Rahul Dravid, who has been able to galvanize a bunch of youngsters into playing mature cricket.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at some players we need to watch out for.
We’ve spoken a lot about Prithvi Shaw, the prodigy who made a mark right from his debut Ranji game. Even in the U19 World Cup, he has shown his class as a captain, and we think a chance at the international stage should come sooner than later. His hunger for runs seem insatiable and his technique already looks amazing. In the match against Australia, Shaw scored a superb 94 to help his team set an imposing and winning total of 328.
India’s No. 3, has been awarded the ‘Best Junior Cricketer’ award for two consecutive years, and if things are to go by, he looks set to make his mark in the ongoing tournament as well. He scored 63 against Australia and an unbeaten 90 against Zimbabwe, showing that India’s batting talent hasn’t dried up.
On the bowling front, Anukul Roy has come up with the goods in this tournament. He didn’t perform that well against Australia, but cleaned up the batting orders of Papua New Guinea and Zimbabwe with a 5 and a 4 wicket haul respectively. It remains to be seen if he can come up with the goods against big teams too, but looking at his ruthlessness, we think he surely will.
Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti
The fast bowling duo of Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti are coming up with the goods, and bowling at 140 kph speeds. That’s seriously fast, and if they can learn to control their bowling over time without sacrificing their speed, a knock on the doors of the Indian senior team won’t be far away.