The journey of India U-19 cricketers over the years

Over the years, India's U-19 squads have thrown up some successful captains and players, who have gone on to represent India at the highest level. Here is a look at them.

Virat Kohli, captain of India, lifts aloft the World Cup after India defeated South Africa at the ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup Final match held at the Kinrara Cricket Academy on March 2, 2008 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Captain Priyam Garg will lead his teammates into the final of the U-19 World Cup against Bangladesh on Sunday, hoping to win a record fifth title for India.

Over the years, India's U-19 squads have thrown up some successful captains and players, who have gone on to represent India at the highest level. Here is a look at them.

1988 - Mylvahanan Senthilnathan of Tamil Nadu led the Indian team in the inaugural edition of the event, which was then known as the ‘Youth Cricket World’. Senthilnathan played 37 first-class matches and 16 List-A matches. Even though this team failed to go past the group stage, it produced international cricketers in Nayan Mongia, Narendra Hirwani and Venkapathy Raju.

1998 - The U-19 World Cup returned 10 years later with its second edition held in South Africa. Captain Amit Pagnis went on to have a prolific first-class career, amassing 5851 runs in 95 matches at an average of 39.53. A few players from the team went on to become some of the country's most successful cricketers. Two-time World Cup champions (2007 T20, 2011 ODI) Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh, and Mohammad Kaif featured in this edition.

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2000 - Kaif-led India lifted its maiden U-19 World Cup title when it beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in the final in Colombo. Kaif played 125 ODIs and 13 Tests for India. This edition featured Yuvraj Singh, who bagged the Man of the Series Award, and Venugopal Rao, who went on to play in ODIs.

2002 - Parthiv Patel led India to the semifinals, where it lost to South Africa. Wicket-keeper batsman Parthiv has been in and out of the team Indian team since. He has played 25 Tests and 35 ODIs but continues to perform in the domestic circuit. Irfan Pathan and Stuart Binny emerged as international cricketers from this team.

2004 - Ambati Rayudu, who played 55 ODIs for the senior national team, captained the side. Rayudu is another popular figure in the domestic circuit and the Indian Premier League (IPL). He led India to the semifinals in Bangladesh, where Shikhar Dhawan finished as the highest scorer with 505 runs and was also adjudged the Man of the Series. Dinesh Karthik, Suresh Raina, R.P. Singh, and Robin Uthappa emerged as international cricketers from this team.

2006 - India’s present ODI vice-captain Rohit Sharma led India to the final. Sharma is the only cricketer to smash three double hundreds in ODIs. Ravindra Jadeja, Piyush Chawla, Manish Pandey and Cheteshwar Pujara, who was named the Man of the Series, emerged from this U-19 team.

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2008 - Virat Kohli led India to its second U-19 World Cup title in Malaysia, where his team defeated South Africa in the final. Kohli has broken multiple batting records in senior cricket since and is already one of the most successful captains the country’s ever produced. Ravindra Jadeja was his vice-captain and Siddarth Kaul, who has also played for India, were also a part of the team.

2010 - Ashok Menaria-led India finished sixth in the 2010 edition. Udaipur-born Menaria has played 77 first-class matches so far and has scored 4499 runs. KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Mandeep Singh, Sandeep Sharma and Jaydev Unadkat, from this team, have gone on to play for the senior team.

2012 - Unmukt Chand’s Indian team lifted the title in 2012 after beating Australia in the final. Chand scored an unbeaten 111 in the final. Hailed as the next big thing in Indian cricket, his career has failed to take off. His U-19 teammate Hanuma Vihari has made it to the Test squad.

READ| India U-19 coach Mhambrey discusses the road to World Cup final

2014 - Vijay Zol’s India finished fifth in the 2014 tournament. He has only played 15 first-class matches since then. His teammates then, Kuldeep Yadav and Shreyas Iyer, have become regulars in the senior national team, and Sanju Samson too has made the senior grade.

2016 - Ishan Kishan's team lost in the final to West Indies. Kishan is now a regular for the India-A side and plays for the Mumbai Indians in the IPL. From this team, Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar have had some success in their young senior international careers.

2018 - Prithvi Shaw steered India to its fourth U-19 World Cup title when his team beat New Zealand in the final. Shaw slammed a hundred on Test debut against West Indies and made his ODI debut on February 5, 2020, against New Zealand. Shubman Gill, who was named the Player of the Series, also made his senior debut last year in ODIs.

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