Meet the Indian colts vying for the ICC under-19 World Cup trophy

Jan 25, 2016, 17:33 IST | A Correspondent

Here are the 15 young Indian cricketers who will be striving to emulate players like Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and Unmukt Chand and bring home the ICC Under-19 World Cup Trophy this year

The 15 boys selected for the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2016 are all geared to start their campaign in Bangladesh from January 28th against Ireland.

Rahul Dravid will be hoping that the boys picked for the task will turn into men by the end of the campaign. India has won the title thrice before – in 2000, in 2008 and in 2012.

The Ishan Kishan-led squad has seven frontline batsmen, two all-rounders, three spinners and three seamers. The team currently has an unbeaten track record – They have played ten matches and won all ten, winning two tri-nation tournaments along the way.

Here are the 15 young cricketers who will be striving to emulate players like Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammed Kaif and Unmukt Chand and bring home the Cup.

Ishan Kishan

Ishan Kishan
Date of Birth: July 18, 1998, Patna
Left-arm batsman
Rahul Dravid named southpaw Ishan Kishan captain of India Under-19 team for the World Cup in the middle of the triangular series in Sri Lanka. He took over the team’s captaincy from Ricky Bhui. The Jharkhand wicketkeeper-batsman is following in the footsteps of his more illustrious state-mate Mahendra Sindh Dhoni, who has given him tips on the game too.
The 17-year-old has already represented Jharkhand in 30 matches across three formats, and averages 40.88 in first-class cricket.
Kishan is the younger son of a Ranchi businessman, and started training under Uttam Mukherjee in Patna from a young age, but started taking the game seriously only after getting into the Jharkhand under-15 side, which he eventually went on to lead.

Rishabh Pant
DoB: October 4, 1997, Haridwar
Left-arm batsman
This Delhi lad is the team’s vice-captain and like his skipper is a wicketkeeper. Pant made a half-century for Delhi against Bengal on his Ranji Trophy debut recently and has been on a run-making spree since. An aggressive left-handed opener, he averaged 54 across two triangular series wins, making three fifties and a century in eight innings. His 118 against Afghanistan was a 98-ball affair. What has stood out in his brief India U-19 career is his penchant to strike big partnerships at the top of the order. Pant first played for Rajasthan Under-16, but failed to make it to the U-19 team and moved to Delhi, where he has found success under the tutelage of Tarak Sinha. 

Sarfaraz Khan (left) and Rishab Pant (right) pose with coach Rahul Dravid. Pic/PTI
Sarfaraz Khan (left) and Rishab Pant (right) pose with coach Rahul Dravid. Pic/PTI 

Sarfaraz Khan
DoB: October 27, 1997, Mumbai
Right-handed batsman
Mumbai lad Sarfaraz Khan, who was India’s find at the last edition of the ICC U-19 World Cup in 2014, It was his counter-attacking knock against Pakistan in 2014’s ICC U-91 CWC that gave a glimpse of his temperament. He has since then starred with the bat for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, where he was the youngest player. Sarfaraz, who used to represent Mumbai in the domestic circuit moved to Uttar Pradesh at the start of the 2015-16 season. He is coached by his father Naushad Khan.

Washington Sundar
DoB: October 5, 1999, Chennai
Left-hand batsman 
Washington Sundar, who received TNCA's best school cricketer award in 2013, got his name because his father M Sundar, a Tamil Nadu Ranji cricketer himself, wanted to express his gratitude to his mentor PD Washington, who died a few months before his son was born. Although he is an opener, Washington has batted at different positions for India U-19 so far and has delivered successfully, making four half-centuries in eight innings, including a 56 in the final against Sri Lanka. He was the only batsman across three teams to cross the 200-run mark in Sri Lanka.

Ricky Bhui
DoB: September 19, 1996, Bhopal
Right-hand batsman
Ricky Bhui is another cricketer who is playing his second ICC U-19 World Cup tournament. This Andhra cricketer made a splash in the 2014-15 U-19 Vinoo Mankad Trophy when he made 384 runs at an average of 96. He captained the U-19 team till the middle of the tri-nation series in Sri Lanka before Kishan took over.

Amandeep Khare
DoB: August 5, 1997, Durg
Right-hand batsman
Khare, a right-hand middle-order batsman, is the first cricketer from Chhattisgarh to represent India at any level, and has earned the right by being a prolific scorer in domestic age-group tournaments.Khare had made two hundreds and two half-centuries for Chhattisgarh U-19 last season, and started 2015-16 on a big note. He hit unbeaten 139, 142, 61 not out and 62 in Central Zone’s big wins over West Zone, East Zone, North Zone and South Zone in the Vinoo Mankad Inter-Zonal U-19 Trophy.

Anmolpreet Singh
DoB: March 28, 1998, Patiala
Right-hand batsman
Anmolpreet Singh has been a prolific run-getter at the age-group level for Punjab. He helped his state win the U-19 Vinoo Mankad Trophy after two seasons in 2013-14, and then topped the 2014-15 Cooch Behar Trophy batting charts. Anmolpreet made 1154 runs in nine matches at 144.25 in Punjab’s journey to the final, where they lost to Mumbai. He hit five centuries, including a highest of 322 against Jammu and Kashmir, and became the first batsman, since Vijay Zol in 2011-12, to touch the 1000-run mark. Anmolpreet’s father, Satwinderpreet Singh, is a former international handball player.

Armaan Jaffer

Armaan Jaffer
DoB: October 25, 1998, Sangli
Right-hand batsman
Nephew of former India opener Wasim Jaffer, Armaan, a lanky right-hand batsman, is coached by his father Kalim Jaffer. He’s in the squad on the back of his three consecutive double-centuries in the Cooch Behar Trophy. His sequence of scores in the Cooch Behar Trophy reads: 56 (against Baroda), 174 (against Tripura), 224 (against Madhya Pradesh), 223 (against Odisha), 218 not out (against Karnataka), and 83 (against Vidarbha). With that effort, he has now become the second batsman after Anmolpreet to score 1000 or more runs in two seasons in the competition. His current aggregate in six innings stands at 1018 runs at 169.66. Armaan’s sister, Fatima, was recently picked up for Mumbai U-19 Women’s team.

Mayank Dagar
DoB: November 11, 1996, Delhi
Right-hand batsman
Slow left-arm orthodox
A left-arm spinner from Himachal Pradesh, Dagar played a key role in India winning the home tri-nation series against Bangladesh and Afghanistan. He carried his good form into Colombo where he finished with seven wickets in three matches, and was at his best against England U-19 in the last league game with returns of 3 for 27. In the domestic circuit, Dagar had made an impact in the U-19 Inter-Zonal competition with two five-wicket and one four-wicket haul for North Zone.

Mahipal Lomror
DoB: November 16, 1999, Nagaur
Left-hand batsman
Legbreak googly

Apart from Dagar, Lomror is the other all-rounder in the team. Lomror started out his career as a specialist batsman and took up spin quite late.

Zeeshan Ansari
DoB: December 16, 1999, Lucknow
Right-hand batsman

Legbreak googly
Ansari, son of a tailor in Aliganj, took up cricket after seeing Shane Warne in action on television. Groomed by Gopal Sharma, Ansari graduated from his local club to Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association’s academy, to NCA. He is a late entrant to the sport, playing his first match for Uttar Pradesh U-19 in the Vinoo Mankad Trophy last season. He picked up 40 wickets at 13.32, including a best of 8 for 39, in the Cooch Behar Trophy and was immediately drafted into the U-23 team for the CK Nayudu Trophy. There he picked up 18 wickets at 13.44 as his team lifted the title. At 16, Ansari is the youngest member of this team.

Avesh Khan
DoB: December 13, 1996, Indore
Right-hand batsman
Right-arm medium

The leader of India’s bowling unit is the third member of the squad to have played in the previous edition of the U-19 World Cup. Avesh already has 15 wickets in five first-class matches for Madhya Pradesh under his belt. His pace was one of the highlights of the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2014 when he clocked 139.8kph against Pakistan despite bowling with a bruised ankle. His father motivated him to take up cricket and he’s coached by former India batsman Amay Khurasiya at Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association’s academy. Avesh has been in top form at the U-19 level this season having picked up eight wickets in six games so far at this level, and will open the attack in the World Cup.

Rahul Batham
DoB: August 21, 1998, Gwalior
Right-hand batsman
Right-arm medium

Another cricketer groomed by Amay Khurasiya, Batham hails from a middle-class family. His father is a godown supervisor with a gas agency. He has an ability to strike in the late overs. He provides the rest of the attack the support they need by being economical. Like Khare and Ansari, Batham too played a key role in helping Central Zone top the Vinoo Mankad Trophy points table.

Shubham Mavi
DoB: December 12, 1997, Bulandshahr
Right hand batsman
Left-arm fast medium
Shubham Mavi, who represents Uttar Pradesh in the domestic circuit, dismissed Vishad Randika, Sri Lanka’s highest scorer, in the triangular series final in Colombo. Although he had not taken many wickets in the previous games, his 3 for 41 for India Blue in a two-wicket win over India Green showed his abilities. His best performance so far has come in the 2014-15 Cooch Behar Trophy where he picked up 17 wickets for Uttar Pradesh U-19.

Khaleel Ahmed
DoB: December 5, 1997, Tonk
Right-hand batsman
Left-arm medium
A left-arm seamer, Ahmed is the son of a nurse in Tonk, Rajasthan. He was India’s most consistent wicket-taker in their last two assignments. He started with figures of 4 for 41 against Afghanistan in the first tournament, and finished things off with seven wickets in the last two games against Sri Lanka including 3 for 29 in the final of the second competition.

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