The 2018 under-19 World Cup is less than a couple of months away and the teams have already started their preparations for the tournament. The Indian team that is expected to make it to the extravaganza look strong on paper and with the guidance of Rahul Dravid, they can only get better.
Recently, the former India captain pointed out that too much of under-19 cricket is dangerous for a player and advised Prithvi Shaw, who could be the captain of the Indian side in the under-19 World Cup early next year, to play Ranji Trophy for India.
"One thing I found was people stay on and play too much of Under-19, which is dangerous. Age group cricket has a purpose to solve but it's limited. Then on they have to go and play men's cricket. That's what we decided with Prithvi as well," Dravid said.
Few members, who could be a part of the World Cup next year, Prithvi, Shubman Gill, Abhishek Gill, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Rahul Chahar, Himanshu Rana etc. have already turned out for their domestic teams in the 2017 Vijay Hazare Trophy and the 2017-18 Ranji Trophy.
This is not the first time that a player is playing domestic cricket before playing the under-19 World Cup. Let us take a look at few Indian players who made their domestic debut before they played in the under-19 World Cup.
Shahbaz Nadeem, who made his first-class debut at an age of 15, has been prolific in the domestic competitions for the last couple of seasons. Having picked up 51 wickets in the 2015-16 Ranji Trophy, Nadeem went on to take 56 wickets in the 2016-17 season and became the first Indian bowler to pick 50 wickets in two consecutive Ranji seasons.
Despite his heroics in the domestic circuit, Nadeem is yet to represent India at the top level, thanks to the quality of spinners in our country. If he keeps performing like this, Nadeem will get his India cap sooner than later.
Nadeem made his debut for Jharkhand in December 2004 and in a couple of years, he went on to represent India in the 2006 under-19 World Cup (2 to 15 February 2006).