India were on a rampage in the 2006 under-19 World Cup as they thrashed each and every team in the tournament before playing Pakistan in the finals. Led by Ravikant Shukla, India went into the finals against Sarfaraz Ahmed's Pakistan in Colombo and were the favourites to win the title.
The lived up to the favourites’ tag by dismissing Pakistan for just 109, thanks to splendid spells from Piyush Chawla and Ravindra Jadeja. Chasing 110 to win, India were in for a shocker as they were reduced for 23/7 in the eighth over of the game.
Pinal Shah and Piyush Chawla got things back on track before the Pakistani bowlers cleaned up the Indian line-up for just 71 in less than 19 overs and were crowned as the champions following the 38-run win over their arch-rivals India.
Unlike the other squads, the Indian squad for this World Cup had only 14 members with former Indian pacer Venkatesh Prasad as their coach. Few members of that Indian team went on to represent India on the International stage while some failed to make it big. Let us take a look at what the members of the 2006 squad are doing at the moment.
Rohit Sharma is the most successful of the bunch that represented India in the 2006 under-19 World Cup as he is one of India’s most reliable batsmen in the limited-over formats. Rohit scored 205 runs in 6 innings at an average of 41 in the 2006 World Cup and made his debut for India in 2007 and was a member of India’s 2007 World T20 winning team as well.
A decade later, he is the only batsman to have two double centuries in ODI cricket and is one of the three Indian batsmen to have a century in all the three formats. Though he is a mainstay in the Indian ODI and T20I, the same cannot be said of his stature in Test cricket as he is trying to seal his place in the longer formats.
He is also the captain of the Mumbai Indians side in the IPL and has won the tournament twice (twice with Mumbai and once with Deccan Chargers).
Cheteshwar Pujara was a run machine even in his under-19 days. The Saurashtra batsman was the best batsman in the 2006 under-19 World Cup as he scored 349 runs in 6 innings at an average of 117 and is the only Indian to score a century in the tournament.
He continued to score a lot of runs in the domestic circuit and made his Test debut for India in 2010. Ever since making his debut, he has been one of India’s best batsmen in the longer formats as he has scored over 3000 runs with an average of over 50. He has represented India in 44 Tests and 5 ODIs.
He has also represented Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab in the IPL and also played county cricket for Derbyshire and Yorkshire to get used to the conditions in England.
Ravindra Jadeja had an average 2006 under-19 World Cup but was the only member of this bunch to taste success in the under-19 World Cup when he won the 2008 edition under Virat Kohli. He made his debut for India in 2009 when the Men in Blue toured Sri Lanka. He made his Test debut three years later and was one of the reasons why India won the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013.
Since then, he is a regular in the Indian XI across all the formats and is currently the World no. 2 in the ICC Test rankings for the bowlers. He also won the IPL with Rajasthan Royals in 2008 and has represented Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Chennai Super Kings in the past. At present, he is playing for Gujarat Lions in the tournament.
Piyush Chawla ended the 2006 under-19 World Cup as the leading wicket taker for India with 13 scalps in 6 matches and within a month, he made his debut for the nation side against England at Mohali. Next year, he made his ODI debut and was a part of the 2007 World T20 winning squad but didn't play a single match for MS Dhoni's men.
Chawla is also the only member from the 2006 under-19 World Cup team to win the ICC World Cup as he was a part of India's 2011 World Cup winning squad.
The leggie didn't last long in the International arena as he has played only 3 Tests, 25 ODIs and 7 T20Is for India. He was a part of the Kings XI Punjab IPL team for the first 3 seasons before moving to Kolkata Knight Riders with whom he won two IPLs.
He is currently playing for Uttar Pradesh in the Indian domestic circuit, KKR in the IPL and has also played for Sussex and Somerset in the English county cricket.
Shahbaz Nadeem wasn’t used much in the 2006 under-19 World Cup as he played just 1 match for Ravikant Shukla’s men in the tournament. Since making his debut for Jharkhand as a fifteen-year-old boy, he has been an integral part of the team.
He created history by becoming the first bowler to take 50 wickets in two consecutive Ranji seasons. If he continues to bowl the way he is bowling, he will be a part of the Indian team in the near future. He represents Jharkhand in the Indian domestic circuit and Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League.
V Yo Mahesh
V Yo Mahesh finished as India’s second leading wicket taker in the 2006 under-19 World Cup and showed a lot of promise in the India A’s tour to Kenya and the home series against South Africa that followed the tournament.
He was very good for Tamil Nadu in the domestic circuit and was picked by Delhi Daredevils for whom he was an integral part in the inaugural season. He later moved to Chennai Super Kings and played his last match for Tamil Nadu in 2014.
He still plays for Grandslam CC in TNCA first division and represents Chepauk Super Gillies in the Tamil Nadu Premier League.
Debabrata Das had a terrible under-19 World Cup in which he scored just 30 runs in 4 innings. It took a while for him to make his debut for Bengal as he played his first match for his state in 2008. Two months later, he made his T20 debut for Kolkata Knight Riders a couple of months later.
Hailed as a T20 specialist, he maintained the reputation as he averages 28 with a strike-rate of 131 in this format. He went on to play 56 matches for Bengal and KKR and was a part of the KKR team that won the IPL in 2012. He played just 3 first-class games, with the last being in 2013. He is still a part of the Bengal T20 side.
Abu Nechim Ahmed
Abu Nechim Ahmed is remembered for his match-winning spell of 4/14 against England under-19 team in the semi-finals of the 2006 under-19 World Cup. He was hailed as the next big thing in the Indian pace bowling department before he joined the rebel league, Indian Cricket League, where he played for Kolkata Tigers and Royal Bengal Tigers.
After the tournament became history, Abu Nechim made a comeback to the Indian domestic circuit where he still represents Assam. He spearheads Assam bowling attack for the last one decade and has also played for Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL.
Mohnish Parmar, who represented Saurashtra in his under-14 and under-15 days, had a decent under-19 World Cup in 2006 and made his first-class debut for Gujarat soon after. He remodelled his bowling action on the grounds of Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan’s action and was reported for illegal bowling action in the under-19 World Cup.
Parmar snared 37 wickets at 14.78 apiece in his debut season and knocked the selectors’ door. He was better in his second season as he took 52 wickets at an average of 19.42, which includes the 11 wickets he picked for India A against representative teams from Australia and New Zealand.
He was poached by the Kolkata Knight Riders ahead of the third edition and played few matches for Sourav Ganguly’s team. He had a huge jolt when he was banned for chucking in 2010 and came back with a remodelled bowling action in 2012, the last time he played competitive cricket.
Pinal Shah was the wicketkeeper for India in the 2006 under-19 World Cup. He did a fantastic job behind the stumps throughout the tournament but the same cannot be said of his batting as he managed to score only 16 runs in the two innings he got to play.
Pinal made his debut for Baroda even before the World Cup and is still a part of the domestic team for whom he has played 87 first-class, 40 List A and 54 T20s till date. He represented Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League.
Gaurav Dhiman was India’s second highest run scorer in the tournament and the only aspect that separates him and his teammates is the fact that he scored all his runs at a strike-rate of over 100. He was also a part of the 2004 under-19 World Cup but he couldn’t make it big in Indian domestic cricket.
The Delhi-born cricketer represented Karnataka in the Indian domestic circuit and played just 1 first-class game and 7 List A matches with the last one coming in 2007. He was also a part of the Mumbai Indians squad in 2009 before moving to Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2010.
His last competitive game was way back in 2014 when he represented Bellary Tuskers in the Karnataka Premier League, his second team in the KPL after representing Bijapur Bulls for two seasons in 2009-10 and 2010-11.
There were some records of Dhiman playing for Herons Cricket Club in Bangalore and when contacted the club for further info, it was revealed that he is not a part of the club anymore and is away from the sport for a while.
Mayank Tehlan had a decent impact in India’s run to the finals in the 2006 under-19 World Cup. Even before the World Cup, Tehlan made his first-class debut a year before the tournament started and scored a mammoth 403-ball 176 for Delhi against Maharashtra.
But, he didn’t live up to his potential as he played only 27 FC matches with the last one coming in 2010. That was the last time he played for Delhi in a competitive match.
He was picked by Delhi Daredevils in the 2008 IPL auction but hardly played a game for the team. He led ONGC in the BCCI corporate trophy in 2013 and was a part of BPCL in the 2014 DY Patil T20 tournament. At present, he is playing alongside Mumbai Indians’ new signing K Gowtham, Punjab fast bowler Sidharth Kaul etc. for the American side, Chicago United.
Mumbai-born all-rounder Saurabh Bandekar played just three matches in the World Cup and hardly got a chance to showcase his batting skills in the tournament. With the ball, he took 4 wickets at an average of 23.
Though he didn’t have much to offer in the World Cup, Bandekar is a regular in the Goa playing XI across all the formats in the last few years. He has played 61 first-class matches, 38 List A and 33 T20s for Goa since making his debut for the team as a 17-year-old in 2004 and is still going strong. He was also a part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL.
The skipper of the Indian team in the 2006 U-19 World Cup, Ravikant Shukla had a miserable tournament as he scored only 53 runs in 5 innings at an average of 10.60. After the tournament, Shukla represented Uttar Pradesh in the Indian domestic circuit till 2011-12 before moving to Goa, where he was a part of their cricket team for two seasons.
Though he played his last first-class match in 2014, he is a regular member of all the Indian Oil Corporation teams in the domestic tournaments.