Indian players you didn’t know played together in U19 World Cup

Indian players you didn’t know played together in U19 World Cup

There have been a set of players who have played for both; India senior team and under-19 team together which is not privy to many people.

Parthiv Patel and Irfan Pathan
Parthiv Patel and Irfan Pathan. (Photo by Getty Images)

The U19 team is the roots of a country’s cricketing future. In India where cricket is the most celebrated sport, millions of youngsters desire to be a part of this division. The youth system and domestic structure of Indian cricket are admired by all cricket pundits. India is the most successful team in U19 World Cups; with four trophies in the cabinet out of 12.

The U19 team has unearthed some of the talented cricketers in Indian cricket- Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli and the latest being Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill. These players have transferred their success from U19 to international level. But there have been a set of players who have played for both; India senior team and U19 team together which is not privy to many people.

Here we look at players you didn’t know who played together for India in U19 World Cup

1. Ambati Rayudu and Shikhar Dhawan – 2004

Indian team in the 2004 U19 World Cup was filled with upcoming superstars. As many as 7 players from that squad have played for India at international level. The tournament took place in Bangladesh and India had a decent run up to the semi-finals where they were knocked out by Pakistan. Shikhar Dhawan was the show-stealer. With three centuries in 7 innings, he accumulated 505 runs at a staggering average of 84 and ended up as the leading run-scorer of the tournament.

Other players in the team were- Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, RP Singh and Robin Uthappa. Rayudu and his CSK teammate Raina had a decent tournament with the bat scoring 237 and 247 runs, respectively. Amongst all these players, Dinesh Karthik was the first to make his ODI debut late in 2004. A year later, Raina and RP Singh also made their first international appearance.

Due to the presence of a strong top-order in the team, Shikhar Dhawan has to wait for his ODI debut till 2010. He hit his purple patch in 2013 Champions Trophy and never looked back. He was the leading run-scorer in the 2013 and 2017 Champions Trophy. Ambati Rayudu had even a longer wait, as he made his ODI debut in 2013 against Zimbabwe. Of all these players, Dhawan is the only regular member of the Indian team. RP Singh and Ambati Rayudu have retired from international cricket. Raina, Karthik, and Uthappa are still key players of their IPL teams.

2. Virat Kohli and Abhinav Mukund – 2008

In 2008, under the captaincy of Virat Kohli, India won the U19 world cup for the second time. It produced a new and vastly talented group of young Indian players. Kohli was the third-highest run-scorer of the tournament with 235 runs at 47 including a century.

Virat Kohli has now become a superstar and the captain of team India in all three formats. He has scored over 11,000 ODI runs and 6,000 Test match runs. He is breaking records for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Delhi lad has left his other teammates far behind in terms of stature in international cricket.

With Kohli, other names in the 2008 team include Ravindra Jadeja, Manish Pandey, Siddarth Kaul, Abhinav Mukund, and Saurabh Tiwary. Jadeja is regular in the Indian team, but the other players are searching for opportunities to make it to the national side. Shreevats Goswami, Pradeep Sangwan were also part of the World Cup winning squad.

3. Parthiv Patel and Irfan Pathan – 2002

Parthiv Patel and Irfan Pathan
Parthiv Patel and Irfan Pathan. (Photo by Getty Images)

Another set of youngsters who gave the national team some prolific players. Although the Indian team couldn’t go to the final stage of 2002 U19 World Cup, Irfan Pathan and Parthiv Patel went on to play for India at very young ages.

Parthiv became Test cricket’s youngest wicketkeeper when he made his debut against England at Trent Bridge in 2002. He couldn’t make a mark in his initial years and after Dhoni’s arrival, he was in the team most of the times as a back-up keeper.

On the other hand, Parthiv’s U19 teammate Irfan Pathan had a stellar career. Pathan made his Test debut in 2003 in the tour Down Under. The left-arm seamer became India’s second player to take a Test hat-trick when he took three wickets in the first over of the Karachi Test match in 2006. He was also the man of the match in 2007 T20 World Cup final.

With Parthiv and Irfan, another future Indian was part of the 2002 team- Roger Binny’s all-rounder son, Stuart Binny. Binny hadn’t had a lustrous international career, but he boasts of the best bowling figures by an Indian in ODI, which is 6/4 against Bangladesh in 2014. Also, IPL stars Manvinder Bisla and Paul Valthaty shared the dressing room with the Gujarati duo.

4. Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara – 2006

The 2006 U19 World Cup produced many future international stars like Dean Elgar, Aaron Finch, and Eoin Morgan. From India, it was Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma who attracted the eyes. They are two of the most talented and exceptional cricketers of this generation. One has become a beast in limited-overs cricket, and other is the spine of the Test team.

Pujara was the highest run-scorer of the tournament. He amassed 349 runs in 6 innings at a mind-boggling average of 116. Rohit scored 205 runs at 41 with three half-centuries to his name. A year later Rohit was selected for the T20 World Cup, where he scored a fifty against South Africa in a must-win game.

Alongside Rohit and Pujara, Piyush Chawla and Ravindra Jadeja were also part of the team. Chawla was India’s leading wicket-taker with 13 wickets in 6 innings. Unfortunately, India lost the final to arch-rivals Pakistan by 38 runs.

5. Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif – 2000

Under the captaincy of Mohammad Kaif, India won their maiden U19 World Cup in 2000 in Colombo. Yuvraj impressed everyone with his flair and elegance. He picked up 12 wickets and scored 203 runs at 33. The left-hander bagged the man of the tournament award for his all-round skills. Kaif scored 170 runs at an average of 34 and took 8 wickets in 8 innings and his leadership was fundamental in India’s triumph. Both the players were soon drafted into the senior squad.

Yuvraj made his ODI debut in the Knockout Cup in 2000 against Kenya. He didn’t get to bat in his debut game, but his half-century in the next match against Australia gave a blueprint of what the left-hander has to offer. Yuvraj owned the limited-overs format. His title-winning contributions in the 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 World Cup needs no introduction. The southpaw has announced his retirement in 2019, and he will go down as a great of limited-overs cricket.

Kaif made his Test debut against South Africa just a couple of months after winning the U19 World Cup. ‘India’s Jonty Rhodes’, Kaif was electric in the field and took up a stabilizer’s role in the middle order. Kaif and Yuvraj changed the fielding dynamics in Indian cricket and are an inspiration for generations to come. His great temperament was at the show in the Natwest Trophy final at Lord’s which will be the highlight of his career. Former India players Venugopal Rao and Ajay Ratra were also part of the triumphant team.