Prithvi Shaw will lead the India U19 team in the Junior World Cup to be played next year in New Zealand. Punjab’s Shubham Gill has been given the vice-captain duties.
Shaw had no competition in the race to captaincy as he has done well enough at the Ranji Trophy level that he has already made a case for national selection but he has to play the junior World Cup.
Talking of Gill, the right-handed batsman has performed well for India U19 and was part of the India A side for the unofficial One-days against New Zealand but an injury saw him being sidelined from the series.
There are some expected selections in form of former U19 captain Abhishek Sharma, Himanshu Rana and Kamlesh Nagarkoti.
However, non-inclusion of Rahul Chahar in the 15-member squad has come as the biggest surprise. He has already played IPL and made it to the Board President’s XI squad for the two practice games against New Zealand but has failed to make it top 15 players. He has been kept on standby. Chahar scalped six wickets in four games with best figures of 4/64 in recently concluded U19 Challenger Trophy.
Aryan Juyal and Harvik Desai are the two wicketkeepers in the side. Delhi’s Manjojt Kalra too finds a place in the team.
Siddharth Desai and Anuj Rawat are the two players to miss out on selection. They have done well for their respective Ranji Trophy sides but could not perform well in the U19 Challenger Trophy, the tournament which was the selection criteria for the players to get selected in the team.
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India will play Australia U19 in their first league stage game at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. Their second game will be against Papua New Guinea U19 on January 16 followed by last league stage game against Zimbabwe U19.
All the three league stage games will be played at the same venue.
In the previous edition of U19 World Cup played in Bangladesh in 2016, India finished as the runner-up. The Ishan Kishan led side lost a low-scoring final to Windies. In 2014, India U19 ended the tourney at quarterfinal stage before losing out to England.
It was last in 2012 when India won the junior World Cup under the leadership of Unmukt Chand, who himself scored a century in the final to lead the team to a title victory. Before that, India have won the Junior World Cup in 2000 and 2008 under the leadership of Mohammad Kaif and Virat Kohli respectively.
The selected players will be undergoing a camp under in Bengaluru from December 8 to 22. Both Prithvi Shaw and Ishan Porel, who have been selected in their Ranji Trophy sides for the quarterfinal, have been allowed to play in the tournament and they will join the camp on December 12.
Here is the India U19 squad –
Prithvi Shaw (Captain), Shubham Gill (VC), Manjot Kalra, Himanshu Rana, Abhishek Sharma, Riyan Parag, Aryan Juyal, Harvik Desai, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Ishan Porel, Arshdeep Singh, Ankul Roy, Shiva Singh, Pankaj Yadav.
Om Bhosle, Rahul Chahar, Ninad Rathva, Urvil Patel, Aditya Thakare.
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