The class of 2008: Current stars who featured in the seventh U-19 World Cup
- Close to a decade ago, a number of modern superstars got their first taste of playing the World Cup.
Before being tossed directly into the boiling cauldron of international cricket, the cream of youngsters go through the U-19 and ‘A’ sides to get a taste of what the game’s top-most level feels like.
A wave of change was brought in by the Mohammad Kaif-led Indian U-19 team in 2000, and the successful transition of a number of youngsters from that World Cup winning side to the Indian team paved the way for the next crop to be inspired to follow suit.
Eight years later, a team headed by an aggressive Delhiite eked out a narrow victory against South Africa in the finals to win the U-19 World Cup. While captain Virat Kohli remains Team India's biggest find from that batch, Ravindra Jadeja and Manish Pandey have also steered their careers in the right direction.
While others like Saurabh Tiwary and Abhinav Mukund couldn't hold their places in the national side for long periods, some like Taruwar Kohli, Ajitesh Argal, Napolean Einstein and Tanmay Srivastava faded away after a glittery start.
Here's a list of all the other players who successfully transitioned from U-19 to international cricket from the 2008 batch:
The Kohli-Kane Williamson duel, both as world-class batsmen and as captains, dates back to 2008, when the duo first locked horns. Possessing a contrasting personality to his more flamboyant counterpart, the unassuming Williamson is a throwback to the 70s, a traditional, grounded player who has seamlessly re-invented himself to fit into the modern scheme of things.
He, however, did not have a particularly fruitful campaign, amassing just 124 runs from five games at a forgettable strike-rate of 49.
The two current Kiwi thunderbirds, Tim Southee and Trent Boult, learnt the nuances of destructing opposition batting line-ups right since their early days. While Williamson made his debut two years later, in 2010, Southee was included in the New Zealand T20I squad a week before the start of the World Cup. He went on to win the Player of the Series award in the World Cup as well.
All-rounder Corey Anderson and Hamish Rutherford were also part of the squad.