U19 Asia Cup: Three Indian players who stood out

With the India U-19 team winning its seventh Asia Cup title in Colombo, let's take a look at the three best Indian performers from the tournament.

India U-19 edged past Bangladesh U-19 by five runs to win a seventh ACC U-19 Asia Cup trophy.   -  TWITTER| BCCI

India U-19 edged past Bangladesh U-19 by five runs to win a seventh ACC U-19 Asia Cup trophy. The Indian team was unbeaten throughout the tournament and there were some crucial contributors who led the side to glory.

Let us take a look at the three best Indian junior players of the 2019 U-19 Asia Cup:

Arjun Azad (Matches - 4, Runs - 202, Best score - 121) 

Opener Arjun Azad was adjudged the player of the 2019 ACC U-19 Asia Cup for scoring over 200 runs in four games. He began the tournament with an unbeaten 60 against Kuwait and followed it up with a brilliant century versus arch-rival Pakistan.

READ| U19 Asia Cup Final: India pips Bangladesh in low-scoring thriller

The right-handed batsman maintained a 100-plus strike rate as well throughout the series. Though he scored a duck in the final against Bangladesh, Azad was the only constant threat for the opposition as the other top order batsmen had a forgettable tournament.

The Chandigarh-born player might have just sealed the opening slot ahead of next year's U-19 World Cup in South Africa.

Atharva Ankolekar (Matches - 4, Wickets - 12, Best figures - 5/28)

Another player to watch out for is left-arm orthodox bowler Atharva Ankolekar. It was Ankolekar's gritty spell in the final that led India to the U-19 Asia Cup title.

The spinner's first outing versus Kuwait fetched him zero wickets in a five-over spell. However, he bounced back by picking up three or more wickets in three consecutive games against Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh (in the final).

His five-wicket haul in the summit clash earned him the man of the match award. He finished the competition with 12 wickets at an economy of 2.96, a strike rate of 13.5 and an average of 6.66. He will most probably be coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar's trump card at the U-19 World Cup in 2020.

READ| U-19 Asia Cup: A memorable day for Mumbai’s Atharva Ankolekar

Sushant Mishra (Matches - 3, Wickets - 8, Best figures - 5/20)

Left-arm medium pacer Sushant Mishra was India's best bowler in the tri-nation series in England, also involving the Bangladesh U-19 side. He had claimed 11 wickets in five matches during that tournament and he carried that form into the 2019 ACC U-19 Asia Cup. 

Sushant missed the opening game of the competition with a niggle. He made a comeback against Pakistan and immediately created an impact by claiming two crucial wickets. He won India a low-scoring game versus Afghanistan with figures of five for 20 in 9.1 overs.

And in the final, the 18-year-old bowler picked up a solitary wicket in an economic spell. Sushant had taken the new ball in the England tri-series, while he bowled in the middle overs during the Asia Cup. Hence, the India U-19 side has a good multi-utility bowler in its ranks.

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