The ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup is one of the biggest cricketing festivals for the youth of the nation who finds themselves a grand podium to showcase their flair and will. The U-19 World Cup has been a springboard for several Indian cricketers who went on to play for India in the posterity.
The popularity of the fray shot through the roof after Kohli made his imposing presence felt in the World Cup with some top-notch batting and first-class leadership that propelled India to world domination in youth cricket.
We will look at the cricketers who were part of the same band of players in the U-109 World Cup and later went on to conquer the world with some sustaining brilliance.
1998 – Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Mohammad Kaif
Three of Saurav Ganguly’s primary weapons, Sehwag who romanticized the art of reckless hitting, Harbhajan Singh, who revolutionized India’s spinning flair, combining with Kumble, and Mohammad Kaif, one of India’s finest fielders of all time were a part of the 1998 U-19 World Cup that hogged them the much-coveted limelight.
South Africa played the host to the U-19 World Cup in 1998 that also showcased the likes of Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Reetinder Singh Sodhi.
2000 – Mohammad Kaif, Yuvraj Singh and Ajay Ratra
India’s best fielder ever, the man who claimed the title of a soaring eagle after flying to his wrong side, plucking the ball out of the air with his aquiline reflexes that dismissed Matthew Hayden in stunning fashion, catapulted himself to fame after thunderous performances in the 2000 World Cup.
Kaif captained the team and pulled off significant performances alongside the likes of Reetinder Singh Sodhi. Ajay Ratra was the wicket-keeper of the Indian team.
2002 – Parthiv Patel, Irfan Pathan, Paul Valthaty, Manvinder Bisla, and Stuart Binny
Barring Parthiv Patel, Stuart Binny, and Irfan Pathan, the other two directed the attention towards themselves in the Indian Premier League.
Patel was called to fill in the boots of Ratra for the Indian national team while Pathan was the main man in dismantling Pakistan in the 2007 T-20 World Cup final. Stuart Binny also shared considerable stints in the Indian cricket team.
2004 – Dinesh Karthik, Shikhar Dhawan, VRV Singh, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, RP Singh, and Robin Uthappa
This was probably one of the most scintillating lots of players that India ever produced. Most of the team members have at least won one ICC tournament with the national team. Karthik, Dhawan, and Uthappa are still active in the international circuit.
Barring RP Singh and VRV Singh, the rest will continue playing for IPL 2020.
2006 – Rohit Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, and Piyush Chawla
Another big slew of names that includes India’s current star opener, Rohit Sharma, and their premium all-rounder, Ravindra Jadeja, this U-19 team of India finally came undone at the hands of Pakistan in the finals.
Nadeem, Jadeja, and Chawla have led India to several glories with their spinning wizardry while Pujara evolved as one of India’s finest Test batsmen.
2008 – Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Saurabh Tiwary, Manish Pandey, Siddarth Kaul, and Abhinav Mukund
Abhinav and Siddarth lost their momentum in the build-up the senior national squad way too early, while Kohli fine-tuned himself into India’s best batsman. Jadeja still glided through the defenses of the batsmen with his sharp spin while Pandey was becoming one of the most phenomenal power-hitters of the Indian squad.
Saurabh Tiwary failed to register more chances for the national squad that saw him being chucked out of the cricketing canon.
2010 – KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Harshal Patel, Jaydev Unadkat, and Sandeep Sharma
India’s 2010 U-19 World Cup was nothing short of a cataclysm as they were knocked out before the semi-finals. KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal were the emerging players from the tournament.
Harshal Patel, Unadkat, and Sandeep Sharma have been absolute hits in IPL, but they failed to leave a footprint in international cricket.
2014 – Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Kuldeep Yadav, Sarfaraz Khan, and Deepak Hooda
Yadav and Iyer are now big names in the international cricketing roster, while Sanju Samson still stays in hot pursuit of the wicket-keeping position of India.
Another wicket-keeper batsman, Sarfaraz Khan, known for his explosive hitting is very much in contention of a spot in the national line up. Deepak Hooda has also been phenomenal in IPL and may earn a call in the national team.
2016 – Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan, Sarfaraz Khan, and Washington Sundar
Pant and Sundar have already fought their way to the top with some blistering performances. Ishan Kishan will be eyeing IPL 2020 in a bid to mount a challenge for a position in the national squad while Sarfaraz will also be an imperative moniker in the imminent IPL.