From Yuvraj Singh to Rishabh Pant: Indian players who shone at the U19 World Cup
Having won 4 Under 19 World Cup trophies, there are several Indian players who have delivered exceptional performances and shone for the senior national team thereafter.
Cricket is no stranger to rising stars and youth prospects who are eyed eagerly by IPL teams and national team selectors. The Under 19 World Cup is one event where youth players from all over the world are scouted and watched for a lot many reasons.
India has had its fair share of talented players who have had their careers built on successful under 19 campaigns. We take a look at 10 such players in no particular order who went on to represent the Indian national team and deliver exceptional performances.
The man known for six 6's retired from senior cricket having played a total of 40 Test matches and 304 ODI matches. He was known for his middle-order batting and spin bowling that often rescued Indian even in T20 matches. Yuvraj was part of the 2000 Under 19 World Cup-winning squad and came to light as the player of the tournament.
The vice-captain for India at the Under 19 World Cup in 2018 ended the tournament with a total of 372 runs. This also led him to be adjudged the 'Best Player of the tournament having scored some brilliant knocks in India's 4th victory at the tournament. He made his debut against New Zealand in 2019 and became the youngest Indian to score over 200 runs in a first-class cricket match.
His introduction to senior cricket does not need any introduction. Virat Kohli is by far the most famous product of the Indian youth cricket system and first came to light as the captain of 2008 under 19 Cricket World Cup-winning team. Since then, King Kohli's journey has progressed to a great height with brilliant stats and several records to his name.
It might seem surprising but this man first came to light with brilliant knocks in the 2006 Under 19 World Cup. Pujara evolved to be known as a test player for other reasons but we must not forget his rise to the top as a formidable batsman first came from the Under 19 cricket team.
The first Indian team to win the Under-19 World Cup was led by none other than Indian veteran Mohammed Kaif. He captained India in a brilliant run to the final where they beat England, Nepal, and Australia before finally beating Sri Lanka to win the series. Kaif then went on to play 13 test matches and 125 ODI matches for the senior team.
Often touted as one of the talents of the decade, Prithvi Shaw was a part of the Under 19 winning squad in 2018. He scored a total of 261 runs with the highest score of 94. Shaw had his first Indian call-up in 2018 for Test matches against England. He has played a total of 5 test matches and 6 ODIs at the age of 22.
Alongside Virat Kohli, Jadeja was the stalwart in the team that won India's second Under 19 World Cup. He came to be known as a promising all-rounder and was picked to make his senior team debut a year later in 2009.
India's current wicketkeeper and another brilliant batsman came to light initially in Ranji trophy matches where he represented Delhi and scored several brilliant knocks. He was bought by Delhi Daredevils who noticed his brilliant performances at the Under 19 World Cup in 2016. Pant has since taken over wicketkeeping duties from the legendary MS Dhoni.
Piyush Chawla was a regular bowler in the Indian under 19 cricket team prior to the Under 19 World Cup. He regularly featured in Test series against teams such as England and Australia. The most memorable performance that made him stand out during the World Cup was when he took 4 wickets for 8 runs in 8 overs in the final against Pakistan. This led to him receiving a call up for the India England Test match in 2006.
The captain of the Indian team that lost the final of the World Cup in 2016 has been handed several caps for the senior national team. Kishan made his mark at the 2016 World Cup with brilliant leadership and captaincy. He did not have the best of innings as a batsman having scored only 73 runs in 6 innings. But he showed himself as a dependable batsman in subsequent years and was selected to play at the T20 World Cup in 2021.