A look at 11 players who could make a big mark in the upcoming tournament
Some of today’s biggest cricketers – Kane Williamson, Steven Smith, Babar Azam, Ben Stokes, Kagiso Rabada and Virat Kohli, to name a few – had at least one identical stop on their way to the top : the Under-19 World Cup. Each edition of the tournament offers us a new crop of future stars. Here’s an XI that might be worth keeping an eye out for as the 2022 edition begins.
Harnoor, who comes from a family of cricketers, gained attention after reaching three centuries in the Challenger Trophy by age group last year. After hitting the Under-19 team in November, the tracks continued to pour in. The left-handed opener scored 72 and 111 in the Under-19 games against Bangladesh before going on with 120, 46 and 65 in the Asian Under-19 Cup against United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and Afghanistan respectively. After arriving in the Caribbean, he hit a century against Australia in a warm-up match. He may well be to the Indian team in 2022 what Yashasvi Jaiswal was to them in 2020.
In terms of senior cricket, Qasim, the Pakistani captain, could be the most experienced player in this tournament. In 15 List A games, the batter is averaging 51 and hitting over 100. In 21 T20s, the hitting rate is 152.04. Qasim, who also appeared in the last World Cup, also made nine first-class appearances, averaging 35.36. On his way to his first century senior, in a one-day Pakistan Cup match for central Punjab against Balochistan a year ago, Qasim showed his ability to play punches all around the wicket. Just two months ago, his finishing skills brought central Punjab to the T20 National Cup final and he was an emerging player with the Karachi Kings in PSL. Qasim also enters the competition on the back of some form of bowling.
Brevis, the right-handed hitter, is considered to be Villiers ‘next AB in South Africa, and that’s because of his aggressive hitter, who includes walking around the crease to delay the bowlers’ plans. He uses his strength to cross boundaries almost at will and has also seemed comfortable with the rotation. Ahead of the World Cup, he added another skill to his repertoire: legbreak bowling. Last month, Brevis won ten wickets in three youngsters for a day against the West Indies, in the Caribbean, where this World Cup is being played. Unfortunately, his batting form was far below par, although he has since hit a 70-ball 50 against the same opponents in a World Cup warm-up match.
The former Western Australia Under-17 captain returns for his second Under-19 World Cup, this time as captain. Last time around, Connolly finished the tournament 64 against the West Indies in the playoffs for fifth place, and appears to have already taken on the added responsibility with a 117 inning against India in the opening warm-up match. from Australia before the last competition. Connolly is a versatile, left-handed hitter with solid technique, as comfortable playing orthodox shots as he is a little innovative, and he also plays a holding role with his left arm rotation. Prior to the World Cup, Connolly was also part of the Perth Scorchers team in BBL.
Nivethan is the only known male ambidextrous spinner in Australian cricket and also has a rookie contract with Tasmania. Over the years he has played with the top hitters, not just in Australia, becoming a net pitcher in the Tamil Nadu Premier League for two seasons and once under Ricky Ponting for the Delhi Capitals in the IPL. . He’s been hitting various positions – at the top, in the middle, right at the end – in representative cricket as well, and although that hasn’t been requested lately, Nivethan can also play bowling.
A rare left arm wrist turner from Pakistan, Faisal developed his bowling style while watching Australian Brag Hogg. He spent a lot of time in PSL with Multan Sultans under the tutelage of Mushtaq Ahmed and Shahid Afridi, and when the senior men’s team prepared to face South Africa last year, Faisal was drafted to help the hitters. to prepare to face Tabraiz Shamsi. Not too long ago, Faisal selected 27 wickets in just ten games at the 2020-21 National Under-19 Cup for one day.
You may remember him as the man who scored the winning points to seal Bangladesh’s 2020 Under-19 World Cup victory – Rakibul is back, and as captain this time, of a team looking to defend their first and only ICC title. He idolizes Yuvraj Singh and Rakibul has similar skills. As a left arm batsman he is precise and as a hitter he provides cushion in the lower-middle order. He had a 10.16 bowling average in the last World Cup, and the West Indian pitches could work well for him.
With dashing side action, the quick pitcher Pathirana is evidently referred to as “Junior Lasith Malinga” in Sri Lankan cricket circles. He’s tall, gets the ball rolling, and while neither he nor Sri Lanka did well in the 2020 edition, he’s now a lot more experienced. Since 2020 he has been part of the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL as one of their reserve players – in the 2021 IPL – and is now entering his second World Cup physically stronger as well.
In the West Indies’ preparations for their home World Cup, Layne has emerged as the team’s new serial leader against England and South Africa, and has 15 wickets in his last nine games, including three against India in the first warm-up match. . Plus, Layne is a float in batting lineup, his penchant for big hitting used by management to promote him in sequence whenever the West Indies needed to increase the scoring rate.
Third brother Tector (after Jack and Harry) to the Ireland captain in the Under-19 World Cup, Tim beats in middle order and enters the competition with some form under his belt including scores of 94 and 53 against Zimbabwe in a pre-World Cup series.
Ravi, the left arm crimper, is a true swing thrower, usually keeping the ball away from lefties. Unlike the last generation of Indian Under-19 bowlers who relied on rhythm to disturb hitters, Ravi’s success relies primarily on control and the position of the seams. Ravi is also the bowler who keeps things tight for India even though the others are playing wicket roles. As for form, they took 4 for 34 against Australia in a World Cup warm-up game the other day.
Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx