TOI lists those who have the potential to crack the senior code…
Musheer Khan (India)
From the maidaans in Mumbai to hitting centuries in South Africa, Musheer made his mark at the U-19 World Cup.He was the second highest run-scorer of the tournament with 360 runs at an average of 60.00 and a strike rate of 98.09. He was the only batter in the tournament to hit two centuries – there was a half-century to boot too. The 18-year-old also brought to fore his all-round skills with seven wickets in the tournament.
Uday Saharan (India)
The Indian team skipper finished as the leading run-getter of the tournament with 397 runs at an average of 56.71 and a strike-rate of 77.69. His only single digit score was in the final, where India lost to Australia. He was the fulcrum of the line-up and pulled India out of pressure situations, especially in the semifinal against South Africa. He hit one century and three half-centuries in the tournament.
Sachin Dhas (India)
The boy from Beed in Maharashtra turned heads with his finishing skills in South Africa. Named after Sachin Tendulkar, Dhas provided India the X-factor with the bat and despite his high-risk play, finished among the top five run-getters in the tournament with 303 runs at an average of 60.60 and a swashbuckling strike-rate of 116.53. His 96 against South Africa in the semifinal made all the difference as India were staring at an ignominious defeat having lost their first four wickets for 32 runs.
Saumy Pandey (India)
Son of a school teacher in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, left-arm spinner Saumy finished as the second-highest wicket-taker of the tournament with 18 strikes at an average of 10.27 and economy-rate of 2.68. His exploits included three four-wicket hauls. His impeccable accuracy often drew comparison with premier India spinner Ravindra Jadeja. Like Jadeja, Saumy also came up with handy contributions with the bat down the order.
Naman Tiwari (India)
The left-arm pacer from Lucknow considers Jasprit Bumrah as his inspiration. Just before leaving for South Africa, Tiwari received tips from the lead India fast bowler on landing accurate yorkers at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore. Son of an LIC agent, Tiwari ended up with 12 wickets in the tournament at an average of 19.83, including two four-wicket hauls.
Tom Straker (Australia)
The one in the much-envied Australian fast bowling line-up who did the heavy lifting for his team. Straker ended with 13 wickets from six games at an average of 11.00 and an economy of 3.27, but it was his 6/24 in the semifinal against Pakistan that became the talk of the town. He hit the pitch hard and extracted bounce from the most docile surfaces.
Kwena Maphaka (South Africa)
The highest wicket-taker of the tournament, left-arm pacer Maphaka swung the ball at pace and looked like picking a wicket with every ball he bowled. He finished with 21 wickets at an incredible average of 9.71 and an economy of 3.81. He had three five-wicket hauls to his name and was declared the player of the tournament.
Ali Raza (Pakistan)
Hailing from Sheikhupura in Pakistan, Raza was introduced late in the tournament. Still, he finished with nine wickets in just three games and almost took Pakistan to the final with an outstanding display of fast bowling in the semifinal against Australia. He also bowled the fastest delivery of the tournament.
Ubaid Shah (Pakistan)
Brother of senior Pakistan team fast bowler Naseem Shah, Ubaid impressed one and all with his swing and pace. He finished with 18 wickets in six matches at an average of 12.38 and an economy rate of 4.12. His control over both swing variations was excellent.
Callum Vidler (Australia)
Opened the bowling and more often than not Vidler picked a wicket in his first spell, if not the first over. Vidler ended up among the top-5 wicket-takers of the tournament with 14 strikes in six games at an average of 11.71 and an economy of 3.79. In the final too, Vidler, with 2/35, proved to be a great support cast for Beardman.
Mahli Beardman (Australia)
The fastest in the Aussie line-up, Beardman derailed India’s chase in the final of the tournament. He had Musheer Khan’s stumps cartwheeling, and that broke the back of India. Bowling at high speeds, Beardman finished with 10 wickets from six games at an average of 10.50. His economy of 2.77 is a testament of how difficult it was to hit him.