Team India (Photo: @bcci/X)
led the boys team Uday Saharan The Under-19s failed to progress all the way to the World Cup finals, but their effort, which took India to their fifth consecutive final in the premier age-group competition, won hearts and promised a bright future for the Fab-15 . Record five-time champion India lost to Australia by 79 runs in the Under-19 World Cup final on Sunday.
Mid-Day takes a look at the journey of the team members who made India proud in the tournament.
Uday Saharan, The India Under-19 captain batted with maturity throughout the tournament, belying his age. He was the backbone of the line-up and bailed India out of pressure situations, especially in the semi-finals, while providing a launch-pad for big scores on other occasions. It was no surprise that Saharan finished the tournament as the leading scorer with 397 runs and he has a bright future ahead of him. While growing up, Saharan moved to Ganganagar, Rajasthan, Punjab to pursue his cricket career.
Sachin Das, The boy from Beed, Maharashtra caught everyone's attention with his finishing skills in South Africa. Named after the great Sachin Tendulkar, Dhas provided India's X-factor with the bat and, despite his high-risk play, finished among the top five run-scorers in the tournament. His innings of 96 against South Africa in the semi-finals made all the difference as India suffered a heartbreaking defeat after losing their first four wickets for 32 runs.
Musheer Khan: Like his elder brother Sarfaraz Khan, who recently got his first Test call, Musheer likes to bat for long periods. He scored 360 runs in the tournament with two centuries and one half-century. His father Naushad has played a huge role in the development of his cricket career.
Saumya Pandey, The son of a school teacher in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, Soumi provided timely strikes for India in the competition with his accurate left-arm spin and finished as the team's leading wicket-taker with 18 wickets. His father introduced him to cricket to make him a fit person. For someone who took up sports to get rid of the common cold and cough, Soumi has come a long way.
Arshin Kulkarni: The all-rounder from Solapur, Maharashtra already had an IPL contract before making an impact in the Under-19 World Cup. Kulkarni, who is adept at catching the ball, is also very useful with his medium pace and is called the Hardik Pandya of the future. He opened for India in ICC events.
Raj Limbani, Right-arm fast bowler Limbani from Rann of Kutch made an impact with the new ball. He bats left-handed and his six-hitting six in a tense match against South Africa helped India seal its ninth place in the final. To realize his dream, Limbani had to leave Dayapur village in the Rann of Kutch and shift to Baroda.
Priyanshu Molia, Like Limbani, Moliya is also based in Baroda and has played seven first-class matches with a highest score of 144 not out. Middle-order batsmen who can bowl off-spin did not have much to do in South Africa as the top order performed well in most of the games.
Naman Tiwari, The left-arm pacer from Lucknow is inspired by Jasprit Bumrah and has learned how to bowl yorkers from India's premier fast bowler. He took 12 wickets in the tournament at an average of 19.83. The son of an LIC agent, he felt the pressure of education growing up before choosing cricket.
Murugan Abhishek, Hyderabad's young off-spinner is very impressed with R Ashwin. He did not take many wickets in the competition but was successful in stopping the flow of runs.
Also read: 'Three times' as bad!
Aravelli Avnish Rao, The wicketkeeper-batsman is a product of the academy co-run by Ravi Shastri and R Sridhar. He has already made his List A debut for Hyderabad and his selection by Chennai Super Kings in the recent IPL auction was a testament to his talent. He is a resident of Pothugal village in Rajanna Sircilla district of Telangana.
Adarsh Singh, This left-handed player has consistently given a strong start to the team. His brilliant inning of 76 against Bangladesh marked a perfect start for India in the tournament. Even in the final, he maintained his dominance by playing a struggling inning of 47 runs in 77 balls.
Behind Adarsh's cricket journey is the story of his family's sacrifice. Despite facing adversity during the COVID-19 pandemic, where both his father and brother lost their jobs, the family ensured that Adarsh's cricket activities continued. To support them, he even sold a piece of land.
Rudra Patel, He could not get a chance to play in the tournament. He led Gujarat to the Under-16 State Championship title. He then led his state in the Under-19 Vinoo Mankad Trophy and came into limelight by scoring three consecutive centuries, including a double century against Himachal Pradesh.
Inesh Mahajan: He was the reserve wicketkeeper of the team and did not get a chance because Avneesh stole the show. Inesh, a fan of MS Dhoni, bats left-handed and hails from Noida.
Dhanush Gowda, Bengaluru's budding fast bowler wants to follow the footsteps of Javagal Srinath and R Vinay Kumar. He did not get many opportunities to showcase his skills, but he is determined to make it big as his father failed to fulfill his cricketing dream while injuries ruined his elder brother's career.
Aaradhya Shukla, Son of a mathematics teacher, the boy from Ludhiana started playing the game with the aim of “growing tall”. He impressed in the CK Nayudu Trophy and Cooch Behar Trophy and earned a place in the Indian team.
(with agency input)