Under-19 World Cup: India’s Young Stars Who Stood Out
The Indian team lifted their fourth Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand after they beat Australia by 8 wickets in the final.
With convincing wins against Australia, Papua New Guinea and Zimbabwe in the group stage, the Indian side trounced neighbours Bangladesh and Pakistan in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively to set up a final clash with Australia.
For India, it has been an all round performance, with batting, bowling and fielding all clicking at the same time.
Shubman Gill, with 372 runs in 6 matches, won the Player of the tournament award. Shubman managed to score India’s first century in the tournament against Pakistan in the semi-final. His ton comes after a host of half centuries scored by the Indians. Shubman himself score three of them, along with skipper Prithvi, Manjot and Abhishek.
Not only the batsmen, Indian bowlers are also had a great tournament. Fast bowlers Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi are already the talk of the town, courtesy their thundering pace. Spinner Anukul Roy with 14 wickets from 6 matches has not only been the leading bowler for the side but also managed to top the bowlers list in the tournament.
India, who were favourites from the beginning of the tournament, had already defeated Australia once in the group stages.
As the young colts celebrate their first title triumph, let’s take a look at the five impact players for India who have managed to grab eyeballs in the tournament.
1. Shubman Gill
The 18-year-old from Haryana won the Player of the tournament for all the right reasons.
Starting from the very first match against Australia till the final, Shubman made sure he does full justice to the number three position.
In India’s first match against Australia, Shubman paced his innings perfectly and accelerated at the right time, scoring a 54-ball 63, which included 6 fours.
In the third match, Shubman was promoted to open the innings and he went onto score an unbeaten 90.
In the quarter-finals against Bangladesh, he again notched up a fifty, scoring a match winning 86.
It was only in the semi-finals against arch-rivals Pakistan, vice-captain Shubman converted his fifty into a ton. His knock of 102 not out proved to be the impetus for the team.
Shubman ended the tournament as the second highest run scorer with 372 runs from six matches at an average 124 and a strike rate of 112.38. He managed to score three fifties and a century in his five innings.
2. Prithvi Shaw
In the all the matches of the tournament skipper Prithvi Shaw made sure the team got off to a great start.
The 18-year old from Mumbai made his intent clear in the first match itself against Australia. He hit the Aussies all around the park before getting dismissed for six runs short of a century. In his well compiled 94, Prithvi hit 8 fours and 2 sixes.
In the second match against minnows Papua New Guinea, while India were chasing 65 runs, Prithvi decided to go all guns blazing. He scored an unbeaten 39-ball 57, which included 12 fours, to finish the match in record breaking eight overs.
In the knockout matches Prithvi got starts but failed to convert them into big scores. But did enough to unnerve the opposition bowling in the first few overs of the matches.
Prithvi ended the tournament with 261 runs from six matches at an average of 65.25 and a strike rate of 94.56. He scored two half-centuries in the first two matches for India.
Prithvi’s batting stance, his bat flow, and the shots he played compelled the commentators during the tournament to draw a comparison with Sachin Tendulkar.
3. Manjot Kalra
Manjot Kalra turned out to be the specialist against Australia in the tournament.
After a well-compiled 86 in the first match of the World Cup against Australia, Manjot created the same magic in the final, scoring a ton this time. Kalra’s century in the final came off just 101 balls t a strike rate of 99.02 and included 8 fours and 3 sixes.
With skipper Prithvi Shaw, Manjot Kalra made sure India got off to great start in all matches of the tournament.
Kalra finished the World Cup with 252 runs at an average of 84 and a strike rate of 89.36. In his five innings he managed to score one century and a fifty.
4. Anukul Roy
Spinner Anukul Roy finished the tournament as the joint top bowler in the World Cup with 14 wickets.
Coming into the final against Australia, Anukul needed two wickets to top the list and he didn’t disappoint. In the final, he picked up two wickets giving away 32 runs.
After having a quiet first match against Australia, Anukul made his presence felt in the second match against Papua New Guinea. He picked up a career-best 5/14, which is the second best bowling figure by an Indian in the Under-19 World Cup.
Anukul pulled off a similar performance in the last group match against Zimbabwe, where he picked up 4/20. Zimbabwe batsmen were completely outplayed by him, who failed to read the leg-spinner.
Along with Abhishek Sharma and Shiva Singh, Anukul gave the team important breakthroughs in the middle overs.
Anukul finished the tournament with 14 wickets in 6 matches at an average of 9.07 and an economy of 3.84.
5. Kamlesh Nagarkoti
The lanky pacer from Rajasthan has already forced former players to stand up and take notice.
After clocking around 149 km/hr on the speed gun during the group stages, Nagarkoti has been consistent with his speed.
More than the wickets, Nagarkoti’s bowling action and his knack of generating bounce has garnered all the attention.
Even Sourav Ganguly mentioned him in his tweet, asking Virat Kohli to keep a close watch on the speedster for the future.
With 9 wickets at an average of 16.33 and an economy of 3.48, Nagarkoti delivered every time the team needed him the most.
Coming on as the first bowling change, Nagarkoti always gave the team the required breakthrough.