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.
In a surprising move, the Indian cricket board has decided to reward India Under-19 coach Rahul Dravid with a cash prize of rupees five million (Dh 280,000) for helping the team win the Under-19 World Cup.
What make the decision intriguing is the fact the amount is substantially more than the rupees three million (Dh170,000) each playing member of the winning Indian team has been awarded.
Generally, the players on the field get the greater share of the winning bonus. But the BCCI, led by the court-appointed Committee of Administrators, decided the head coach should get the bigger financial reward.
“India is known for its guru shishya parampara (Hindi phrase which roughly translates to teacher-student tradition) and the guru always gets more. Obviously, the stature of the coach matters a lot,” a BCCI official was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India on Saturday.
Interestingly, when India won the U-19 World Cup in 2008 and 2012, the then coaches Dav Whatmore (2008) and Bharath Arun (2012) did not get more money than the players.
BCCI announces prize money for victorious India U19 team.— BCCI (@BCCI) February 3, 2018
Mr Rahul Dravid, Head Coach India U19 – INR 50 lakhs
Members of India U19 team – INR 30 lakhs each
Members of the Support Staff, India U19 – INR 20 lakhs each
Meanwhile, Committee of Administrators chief Vinod Rai said: “I congratulate the U19 team who have made the country proud. Head coach Rahul Dravid played his cricket with sincerity and it was pleasing to see the boys uphold the value.”
BCCI CEO Rahul Johri added: “Winning the World Cup without losing a solitary game is a fantastic achievement and I congratulate everyone for this dominant show. In Rahul Dravid, we have a fantastic coach who is moulding the youngsters and also fine-tuning the boys at the India A level before they progress to the senior side.”
India lifted the Under-19 World Cup for the fourth time after opener Manjot Kalra hit an unbeaten 101 against Australia at Mount Maunganui.
With Kalra scoring freely, India won by eight wickets as they chased down Australia’s 216 all out with more than 11 overs to spare.
The performance of the Indian team at the U19 World Cup has been appreciated not only by Indian cricket fans but also by former players across the world including former batsman Ramiz Raja who said Pakistan need someone like Rahul Dravid to nurture youngsters.
However, Dravid himself wants the players and rest of the support staff to get the credit for India’s convincing victory in New Zealand.
“Coaching this team, I tend to get a lot of attention, but it is really about the quality of support staff that we have had. There have been seven or eight of us, who have been together for the last 14 months. The effort they put in was incredible,” the former India captain said on Saturday.
“I am proud to be a part of their (support staff) team and see it as that. We try and do what’s best for the kids and hopefully they can put in the performances on the field and they have certainly done that in this tournament.”
Every Indian is delighted, all credit to Rahul Dravid for committing himself to these young kids ,and a legend like him deserves to lay his hands on the WC. Only Fitting. #INDvAUS— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) February 3, 2018
India’s support staff includes fielding coach Abhay Sharma and bowling coach Paras Mhambrey.
Dravid hoped the win won’t just be “one memory” for the youngsters.
“It’s a memory they’ll cherish for a long time and hopefully it’s not a memory that defines them and they will have a lot more bigger and better memories as they go on ahead in their careers,” the former India captain said.
“I am really proud of the boys, proud of the effort that they have put in and proud of the support staff as well. I think the effort we have put in over the last 14 months have been sensational. They really deserved this, I couldn’t be any happier and proud for this bunch of boys.”