Indian cricket has found a bunch of potential superstars during the recently concluded ICC Under-19 World Cup. Prithvi Shaw’s team were almost untouchable as they romped to an eight-wicket win in the final against Australia.
Quite a few members of the victorious Indian team are being seen as definite India prospects. Here we take a look at the lesser known facts about the up-and-coming stars.
Shaw used to wake up at 4:30 every morning to prepare for the 70-km ride from his house in Virar to the training facilities in Mumbai. In 2010, his family was ‘gifted’ a flat closer to Mumbai by a local politician and that cut his travel time in half.
In 2013, a 14-year-old Shaw entered the record books after hitting 546 runs during a Harris Shield inter-school match for Rizvi Springfield against St Francis D’Assisi. It was the highest score by an Indian in minor cricket. It was the same tournament in which Sachin Tendular shot to fame with a world-record partnership of 664 runs with Vinod Kambli.
Shaw scored a century in his Ranji Trophy first-class debut last year, hitting 120 against Tamil Nadu in the semi-final. Has hit five centuries and three fifties in nine first-class games.
Playing in the Duleep Trophy in 2017, Shaw hit 154 on debut to become the only cricketer after Tendulkar to score a ton in his first outing in the domestic tournament.
Started out as an outswing bowler. Mavi suffered a career-threatening knee injury in 2014 at the age of 15 during a zonal camp while sliding on a plastic cover.
Suffered a Grade 2 tear to his ACL but decided against surgery and opted for physiotherapy. He was guided by Kings XI Punjab bowler Anureet Singh, who himself had suffered a similar injury.
Mavi started to bowl at full pace but his body and wrist position automatically compensated for the knee injury and he started to bowl inswing.
He bowled regularly to Afghanistan players during their training in Greater Noida, near New Delhi. Played a few Afghanistan inter-squad matches.
Born in Rajasthan, Kamlesh’s father was a ‘subedar’ in the Indian army. He was first spotted in the cantonment area in Jaipur at the age of eight.
Impressed India U19 coach Rahul Dravid, who monitored his progress.
In June last year, Nagarkoti suffered a shoulder tear after a tour of England. The injury needed three months to heal and put a question mark on his ability to bowl quick again. He regained full fitness to clock speeds of over 145kph during the Under-19 World Cup and clinch a $500,000 IPL contract with Kolkata Knight Riders.
Shubman’s family moved from Jalalabad in Punjab to the cricketing hotbed of Mohali in 2007 to improve his career prospects.
At the age of 14, scored a triple century in an Under-16 state level match in Punjab and shared a world-record opening partnership of 587.
According to his father Lakhwinder, Shubman takes fitness very seriously. Shubman is extremely strict when it comes to his diet and, according to Lakhwinder, has not consumed sugar in one and a half years.
India dominated the Under-19 World Cup, overpowering their opposition by convincing margins of 100 runs (Australia), 10 wickets (Papua New Guinea), 10 wickets (Zimbabwe), 131 runs (Bangladesh), 203 runs (Pakistan) before winning the final against the Aussies by eight wickets.
It therefore doesn’t come as a surprise that the ICC’s team of the tournament includes five India players, with the top three batsmen from the victorious camp.
India captain Prithvi Shaw (261 runs), final centurion Manjot Kalra (252) and Shubman Gill (372) form the top order of the ‘Team of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup’.
India’s left-arm spinner Anukul Roy was the joint highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 14 scalps and found a spot in the side along with fast bowler Kamlesh Nagarkoti (9) who proved too quick for most batsmen.
However, not a single player from the Australian camp found a spot in the team of the tournament despite making it to the final.
The top-scoring Australian in the tournament – Jason Sangha (229) runs – is 20th on the overall list of top batsmen at the U19 World Cup. Leg spinner Lloyd Pope, however, is seventh among top wicket takers with 11 wickets from five matches. In fact, an Aussie was not even named 12th man, that honour going to West Indies batsman Alick Athanaze who made 418 runs and was the top-scorer of the tournament.
South Africa’s Raynard van Tonder (348 runs) was named captain of the Team of the Tournament. The ICC explained its decision in a release by stating: “Van Tonder, who aggregated 348 runs in six matches including a highest score of 143 against Kenya, was selected to lead ahead of other captains for his better cricket acumen.”
ICC TEAM OF THE TOURNAMENT
Prithvi Shaw (IND, 261 runs), Manjot Kalra (IND, 252 runs), Shubman Gill (IND, 372 runs), Finn Allen (NZ, 338 runs), Raynard van Tonder (SA, captain, 348 runs), Wandile Makwetu (SA, wk, 184 runs and 11 dismissals), Anukul Roy (IND, 14 wickets – spin), Kamlesh Nagarkoti (IND, 9 wickets – pace), Gerald Coetzee (SA, 8 wickets – pace), Qais Ahmad (AFG, 14 wickets – spin), Shaheen Afridi (PAK, 12 wickets – pace)
12th man: Alick Athanaze (WI, 418 runs)
India created history in the ICC U19 World Cup on Saturday as they became the first side to lift the crown four times.
The Boys in Blue thumped Australia by eight wickets in the final to complete a fairytale tournament where they were undefeated throughout.
As such, we look at the five players from the title-winning team who look poised to play for the senior India side someday.
The skipper seems tailor-made for Test cricket with his penchant for playing the long innings. Shaw started the tournament with a bang, scoring an unbeaten 94 against Australia, and followed it up with a 57 against Papua New Guinea. He tapered off towards the end of the World Cup as he failed to make the most of his starts but nevertheless, his credentials remain solid.
Having already scored five first-class tons for Mumbai in his debut season in the Ranji Trophy, Shaw seems destined to play Test cricket for India.
Though he might have had a quiet final, Shubman Gill has been the indisputable star of India’s World Cup campaign. With scores of 63, 90, 86 and a sparkling ton against Pakistan in the semi-final win, Shaw’s deputy has shown that he is the man for the big occasion.
With a touch of Virat Kohli about him with the way he uses his bottom hand and wrists, the right-handed batsman has already proved his class at the first-class level with a fifty in his first match and a century in his second. Winner of the BCCI Junior cricketer of the year award for two consecutive years in 2013 and 2014, it should not be long before we seem Shubman in the senior ranks.
Anukul Roy finished as the joint-highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 14 scalps in his six games. In doing so, he became the first Indian player to achieve the feat in the tournament’s history.
What was even more impressive was Roy’s extremely accurate leg-spin bowling, similar to Ravindra Jadeja’s, which made him hard to get away for the batsmen. His impressive strike-rate of 14 and an average of just nine indicate that he is the complete package.
Like Jadeja, Roy is also a handy lower-order batsman.
With nine wickets in the tournament, Nagarkoti might not have set the world alight in terms of numbers but his performances were enough to indicate that he is set for big things to come.
Clocking over 145kph, the left-armer’s raw pace make him a rarity in Indian cricket and he will already have been earmarked by the BCCI as one for the future. Nagarkoti has all the tools to be India’s pace mainstay in the years to come. It now depends on the BCCI as to how they groom him for international cricket.
Injury troubles meant Ishan Porel did not feature much in the group stages as Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi stole the show for India. However, come the business end of the tournament, it was Porel who ended up as India’s main threat in pace.
The Bengal bowler came into his own in the crucial semi-final against arch-rivals Pakistan with a four-wicket burst that triggered a collapse. He has already picked up a five-for for Bengal in the Ranji Trophy having played only three matches.
Not blessed with the raw pace of Nagarkoti and Mavi, Porel has a knack of landing the ball in the right areas to trouble batsmen.