When Australia Under-19s took on England Under-19s in a Youth One-Day International (ODI) at Gosforth on Tuesday, the Australians included a 17-year old all-rounder (right-hand batsman and off-spinner) called Arjun Nair in their side. Nair (4 for 33) formed an excellent pair with fast bowler Fletcher Seymour (4 for 56) to bowl out England Under-19s for a mere 206 in 45.1 overs. No host batsman crossed 35. In response, Caleb Jewell smashed his way to 69, and though Brad Taylor removed Jewell and Jordan Gauci in consecutive deliveries, Matthew Renshaw (69 not out) and captain Jake Doran (56 not out) saw Australia Under-19s to an 8-wicket victory with 58 balls to spare.

Born April 12, 1998, Nair is of Malayali origin. His parents Jayanand (a junior hockey player) and Salini Nair moved from Kochi to Australia in 1996. Arjun rose through the ranks at a rapid rate, making it to the Under-19 side at a very young age. At 14, Nair made his mark with 127, 119, and 103 for Hawkesbury Cricket Club, and added 119 and 109 to his tally next season. He played for New South Wales Under-17.

Gurinder Sandhu, also of Indian origin, had played for Australia Under-19s in Townsville Under-19 Quadrangular Series 2011-12 and ICC Under-19 World Cup, also in 2012. From 13 Under-19 ODIs Sandhu picked up 21 wickets at 21.28 and an economy rate of 3.72. Sandhu also went on to play two ODIs earlier this year, picking up three big wickets — those of Ajinkya Rahane, Ian Bell, and Eoin Morgan.


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