From Virat Kohli to Unmukt Chand: The U19 World Cup stars who made it big and who couldn’t | Cricket News

Feb 9, 2024


Over the years, many players who have performed well Under-19 World Cup Some have graduated at the senior level with great success, while others showed promise but lost their way. TOI takes a look…
India's Under-19 cricketers have once again reached the World Cup final. This Sunday in Benoni, South Africa, Uday Saharan & Co. will have a chance to win the title once again. Apart from the captain, players like Musheer Khan, Sachin Dhas, Arshin Kulkarni, Soumya Pandey and Naman Tiwary have also impressed. , This is the ninth time that junior cricketers from India have reached the final, which is a record. He has also won five times, which is another record. Which guys will graduate from here to the big leagues? Which ones will disappear? The U-19 World Cup stage is an interesting story of both the legends and the players…
who made it big
Virat Kohli
The biggest contribution of the Under-19 World Cup to Indian cricket has been the rise of Virat Kohli. In 2008, Virat led India to its second Under-19 World Cup title in Malaysia, where his team defeated South Africa in the final. He was India's second-highest run-scorer (235 runs, avg. 47, SR 94.75) and the only century scorer. The scene of Virat running towards fast bowler Siddharth Kaul after the fall of South Africa's last wicket is etched in Indian cricket folklore.

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Yuvraj Singh
In the first sign that he was ready for many match-winning exploits at the senior level, Yuvraj Singh helped India to their first Under-19 World Cup title in 2000. The southpaw played an important role in the team led by Mohammad Kaif. Sri Lanka lost the final in Colombo by six wickets. Yuvraj was the man of the series, scoring 203 runs at an unheard-of strike rate of 103.57. He also took 12 wickets with his left-arm spin and was the sixth highest wicket taker.
Virender Sehwag
One of the great batsmen of Indian cricket, Sehwag featured in the 1998 edition in South Africa. More than his batting, Sehwag took seven wickets with his off-spin at an economical economy rate of 3.36. India could not reach the final but Sehwag's all-round skills attracted a lot of attention.
Harbhajan Singh
Off-spinner Harbhajan also impressed in the 1998 edition, taking eight wickets at an average of 21.12 and an economy rate of 3.44. Harbhajan had a notable contribution in all five victories of India. Soon after, Harbhajan made his Test debut for India against Australia in Bangalore.
Rohit Sharma
Batting at number 3, the current India captain scored three half-centuries in six innings at the 2006 Under-19 World Cup in Sri Lanka. He scored 205 runs at an average of 41. India managed to reach the final but lost to Pakistan by 38 runs. He also shone with his off-spin and took four wickets.
Ravindra Jadeja
The 'Rockstar' all-rounder was involved in two Under-19 World Cups – in 2006, in which India lost in the final, and the other in 2008, when India won under Kohli. In 2006, Jadeja played four matches, took four wickets and also made some useful contributions down the order. By 2008, he had improved dramatically and was one of the stars with the ball, taking 10 wickets in six matches. He was Kohli's favorite man and in the final he derailed South Africa's target of 160 by taking two important wickets in the middle order.
Cheteshwar Pujara
Very few people will believe that Cheteshwar Pujara once scored runs at a faster rate than Rohit Sharma. This happened in the 2006 Under-19 World Cup when Pujara, while opening, scored 349 runs in six innings at a strikerate of 82.11. In comparison, Rohit's strike rate was 77.35. Pujara scored a century and two half-centuries and was the highest run scorer. But he failed in the final and was out for duck and India collapsed for 71 runs.
Shikhar Dhawan
Right from his Under-19 days, Shikhar Dhawan was fond of scoring big scores in ICC events. In the 2004 Under-19 World Cup, he was the leading run-scorer with 505 runs in seven innings. His best innings was an unbeaten 155 against Scotland, apart from two other centuries. However, Dhawan had to wait to play for the senior team.
Suresh Raina
Another big name from the 2004 Under-19 World Cup who played at the senior level. Raina was the second-highest run-scorer for India behind Dhawan, scoring 247 runs at an average of 35.28 and a strike rate of 90.80, which included three half-centuries. His innings in the middle order came at a fast pace. Raina also took five wickets with his offspin and played an important role in breaking partnerships. India lost in the semi-finals but the 2004 team was one of the best ever.
Rishabh Pant
India's journey to the final of the 2016 edition in Bangladesh, where they lost to West Indies Under-19s, was on the back of some explosive batting from opener Pant, who scored 267 runs at 44.50 (SR 104.29) in six innings, including One run was also included. One century and two half-centuries. He formed a lethal opening combination with another big-hitter and wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan. Just a year later, Pant found senior India success.
those who disappeared
Unmukt Chand
Captain of the 2012 Under-19 World Cup winning team, Unmukt scored a match-winning century (111 off 130 balls) in the final against host Australia. His stellar performance earned him praise from the likes of Australian legend Ian Chappell, who said Chand was ready for the big stage. Amidst the heavy media glare, he returned home and wrote a book titled 'The Sky is the Limit: My Journey to the World Cup'. But runs stopped coming from his bat at the domestic level and Chand could not convert his teenage stardom into meaningful performances. He has now moved to America to play in Major League Cricket and hopes to represent America on the international stage.

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Ashok Menaria
The Udaipur-born stylish left-hander captained the Indian team in the 2010 Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand. There were many players in that team who achieved recognition at the national level. Players like KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Mandeep Singh and Jaydev Unadkat made it big, but not Menaria himself. His performance in the tournament was disappointing and he scored only 31 runs in five innings. It was one of the most disappointing campaigns of the Under-19 World Cup as India finished sixth. Later, Menaria represented Rajasthan at first-class level, before a feud with the state board forced him to change states and move to Haryana.
Vijay Zol
Hailing from the small town of Jalna in Maharashtra, where there were no cricket facilities, Zol first came into limelight when he scored a brilliant inning of 451 runs in a Cooch Behar Trophy Under-19 game in 2011. He led the team. 2014 Under-19 World Cup in UAE, where India lost in the quarter-finals. His teammates Kuldeep Yadav, Shreyas Iyer and sanju samson All went on to play for the national team, but not Zol. He made a great start to his first-class career by scoring a century on debut for India 'A' against New Zealand 'A'. After this he scored a double century in his Ranji debut for Maharashtra. He was also selected by Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2014, but everything went downhill after that. He has not played a single first-class match since 2019. Last year, Zol was controversially booked in Aurangabad on charges of kidnapping and extortion.
Sandeep Sharma
The clever medium pacer from Punjab stunned everyone when he rotated the ball amazingly during the 2012 edition in Australia. Sharma took 12 wickets in six matches at an average of 15.75 (ER 3.62). His best performance came in the final when his 4/54 restricted Australia to a low score of 225/8, which India achieved on the back of Unmukt Chand's century. Sharma was signed by Kings XI Punjab ahead of the 2013 IPL season. He has also represented Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals. He has performed well at first-class level. Sharma was rewarded with two T20I caps against Zimbabwe in 2015, but failed to perform well in those matches and was not selected again.
Siddharth Kaul
He was Virat Kohli's trusted man in the fast bowling department during the victorious Under-19 campaign of 2008. Kaul took 10 wickets at 15.40 (ER 4.27) in five matches. He made his first-class debut for Punjab even before the Under-19 World Cup and was rewarded for his domestic performances with three ODIs and three T20Is in 2018–19. However, he could not crack the code on the international stage and was later eliminated. However, he has played for four different IPL teams.



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