Over the years, we have seen many Indian cricketers make it big in international cricket after doing well in U19 cricket. U19 cricket is one of the most exciting formats of the game. It is always good to see young cricketers express themselves in the middle and create headlines on the basis of their performances.
There are many Indian captains who made a big name for themselves by doing well at the U19 level. The first name that comes to our minds when we talk about Indian cricketers who made name for themselves at the U19 level, is the current Indian captain Virat Kohli.
Virat Kohli led India’s U19 team brilliantly in 2008 and lifted the trophy. In this post, The Cricket Lounge’s Divey Chawla lists some of the most popular U19 captains of all time.
1) Mohammed Kaif (2000)
Mohammed Kaif led India’s U19 in the 2000 World Cup. Kaif, who is regarded as one of the best fielders in Indian cricket history, went on to play international cricket for India for a very long period of time. It was the first time that India had reached the final of an U19 World Cup. India remained unbeaten in the tournament and lifted the U19 World Cup Trophy for the first time.
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2) Parthiv Patel (2002)
Parthiv Patel led India’s U19 team in 2002 and earned a name for himself at a very young age. India were knocked out in the semi-final of the tournament by South Africa.
Parthiv Patel went on to play Test cricket for India. He also became the youngest debutant for India. However, he didn’t enjoy too much success at the international level. In 2004, he was replaced by MS Dhoni and since then, Dhoni has been India’s first-choice wicketkeeper.
NOW: Still playing domestic cricket and hoping for a comeback.
3) Ambati Rayudu (2004)
Ambati Rayudu is a fantastic talent who has been able to cement his spot in Indian cricket team. Rayudu came to limelight when he led India’s U19 team in 2004. Rayudu led India to the semi-final of the World Cup but lost to arch-rivals to Pakistan. Shikhar Dhawan was also the part of that team.
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4) Virat Kohli (2007)
Virat Kohli is undoubtedly the most successful Indian cricketer in this list. He is, arguably, the best batsman in world cricket across all three formats of the game. Recently, he took over as India’s captain in all three formats of the game.
In the 2007 U19 World Cup, Virat Kohli led India with a lot of aggression and he became a household name among Indian cricket fans after that tournament.
NOW: Captain of Indian cricket team in all three formats of the game
5) Unmukt Chand (2012)
Unmet Chand led India to victory in the 2012 U19 World Cup. He was one of the top performers of the tournament and, after the tournaments, fans and media created a lot of hype around him and he was being looked upon as the the next big thing in Indian cricket.
But, due to some reasons, he career never progressed from there and he is still trying hard at the domestic level.
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6) Ishan Kishan (2016)
Ishan Kishan led India in the 2016 U19 World Cup in Bangladesh. India played exceptionally well but couldn’t defeat West Indies in the final of the tournament.
NOW: Plays domestic cricket for Jharkhand and many believe that he is a strong contender to replace MS Dhoni in future.