The U19 programme initiated in the late 80s provided budding cricketers, in their teenage, an opportunity to showcase their talent at the international level. India itself has benefitted greatly from these tournaments over the years as it gave the selection committee some sort of a trailer about what is to come in the future years.
The likes of Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Rohit Sharma, Chateshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Manish Pandey, who enjoyed/ are enjoying a lucrative professional career, gave us a glimpse of their set of skills during their respective outings for the country in the multi-lateral global event.
India clinched their fourth U19 World Cup Title after defeating every team they faced comprehensively to prove their world dominance. Cricket pundits covering the tournament such as Ian Bishop, Simon Doull, Rob Key and many others made their points iteratively lucid about this Indian U19 team being a country mile ahead of the rest on the basis of adept, fitness and hunger for excellence.
Therefore, looking at the current crop of players who brought laurels to the country and the present scenario within the senior team across all formats, here’s a look at five potential players who can represent the Indian team in the future, keeping in mind they seek selector’s attention with consistent performance in the domestic circuit in future.
1. Kamlesh Nagarkoti
One-third of the great Indian pace-triplet in the recently undergone tournament, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, impressed one and all with his pace and all-round abilities. The two prime movers of Indian cricket presently, captain Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri, have an affinity towards balance and multi-dimensional players.
This is where the likes of Hardik Pandya and Kamlesh Nagarkoti come into the picture. Given the frail bowling abilities of Pandya, Nagakoti might get the nod ahead in the future, once Kohli and the think tank lose belief in Pandya.
2. Manjot Kalra
In the senior Indian side, the lack of quality left-handers in the batting line up is quite visible. With left-handers in the middle, the lines and lengths of the bowlers might be challenged. The likes of Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh have seen their best days in ODIs and T20Is.
One man who has stood out during the competition with his unique mixture of Yuvi’s elegance coupled with the flamboyance of Shikhar Dhawan is southpaw Manjot Kalra. With the scarcity of left-handers in the senior side, Kalra may find strong backing from the selectors especially after the temperament he displayed during his ton in the finals of the tournament.
3. Prithvi Shaw
Before the commencement of the multi-lateral competition, one name which was the most popular amongst the lot was Mumbai prodigy Prithvi Shaw who has already smashed many First Class centuries in all the major domestic competitions. There have been murmurs inside the Indian cricket fraternity to fast track this teenager into the senior side.
Looking at Indian misery at the top of the opening slot in Test cricket, it might not be a bad idea to try out Prithvi Shaw especially with Murali Vijay in his 30s and Shikhar Dhawan being a question mark in foreign condition wearing the whites. Looking at his talent and batting abilities, it is safe to assume that Shaw might be seen receiving his Indian cap soon, at least in Test cricket.
4. Shivam Mavi
Shivam Mavi was another pace bowler, along with Nagarkoti and Porel, who impressed one and all with his ability to hit the 140 kmph-mark. There was a time when India envied the Pakistani or the Australian production line of fast bowlers. Now that India has its own, they have adopted the Australian policy of rotation of their fast bowlers after monitoring their workload.
Therefore, it might be possible that Mavi might get the green signal in T20Is or ODIs, looking at BCCI’s eagerness to formulate hectic schedules with action throughout the 12-months of the year.
5, Shubman Gill
The man of the series with 278 runs to his name, Gill made a name for himself with a wide range of strokeplay and his strike rate. Gill might be ideal for India’s T20I and ODI campaign, enriching the rich pool of batting talent already in the Indian circuit.
Viewers of the tournament related some of the strokes he played with that of Virat Kohli. Clearly, the second highest scorer of the tournament tried to model himself after the modern greats of the game. It would not hurt India to have another Kohli-like batsman in their arsenal because his numbers in the competition were indeed Kohliesque.