Under 19 World Cup has always been considered to be a breeding ground for future stars of International cricket. This is perhaps the prime reason why Under 19 World Cup is staged after every two years. While a large number of these Under 19 players from all the teams have gone on to play for their countries, India has been particularly lucky to have been blessed with young talent who went on to represent the national side. Also, India is one of the most successful Under 19 teams of all time winning the title four times, which is the most by any team.
Many of the Under 19 players have gone on to represent India, while many have been playing domestic cricket or IPL against their own former U19 teammates. However, a lot of people will be surprised to know that players who have played against each other in domestic tournaments and IPL or have competed against each other for a place in the Indian team actually started their careers playing together for the India U19 team.
We will look at players who played together for the Indian team in the Under 19 World Cup.
U19 World Cup 1998 - Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Mohd Kaif
Under 19 World Cup was played after a gap of 10 years in 1998. Sixteen teams participated in the tournament that was played in South Africa. Even though India did not do well in the tournament, the young team produced some big match-winners.
Not many people know this, but before playing for India, the likes of Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Mohd Kaif played together in the Indian under-19 team. Reetinder Sodhi, Amit Bhandari and Laxmi Ratan Shukla, who were also part of the same team, played a handful of ODIs for India too.
U19 World Cup 2000 - Yuvraj Singh, Mohd Kaif, Venugopal Rao
India U19 team won their first World Cup title in 2000. The team was led by Mohd Kaif, while Punjab all-rounder Reetinder Sodhi was the vice-captain. Both Kaif and Sodhi were playing their second U19 World Cup. But the real find of the tournament was Yuvraj Singh. Yuvraj Singh shot into prominence with his eye-catching performance in the U19 World Cup and was subsequently selected in the national side.
Mohd Kaif also made it to the Indian team and Yuvraj and Kaif were involved in some memorable partnerships for team India. Venugopal Rao, who played 16 ODIs for India and future India wicket-keeper, Ajay Ratra were also part of the team.
U19 World Cup 2002 - Parthiv Patel, Irfan Pathan, Stuart Binny
Even though the defending champions India couldn't defend their World title in the 2002 edition of the U19 World Cup, the team produced some future India players. Two prominent names in the squad were Parthiv Patel and Irfan Pathan. Pathan and Patel impressed everyone with their performance in the World Cup and both of them went on to play for the senior team in the next two years.
Another notable name in the squad was the Karnataka all-rounder Stuart Binny. Son of former India player, Roger Binny, Stuart has the best bowling figures for India in ODIs. Manvinder Bisla, T Suman, Siddarth Trivedi and Paul Valthaty, all of whom played for different franchises in the IPL were also part of the squad.
U19 World Cup 2004 - Suresh Raina, Shikhar Dhawan, Dinesh Karthik, Ambati Rayudu, RP Singh, Robin Uthappa
Perhaps the most talented U19 team India ever had was the team of 2004. As many as eight players, which is maximum from any India U19 team, of the 2004 U19 World Cup squad, went on to play for the national side. Unfortunately, India lost the semi-final against the eventual winners Pakistan. Shikhar Dhawan was named the man-of-the-series for his magnificent performance.
Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik are still part of the Indian team, while Robin Uthappa and RP Singh were part of the victorious World T20 side of 2007. Faiz Fazal and VRV Singh also represented the Indian team.
U19 World Cup 2006 - Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Cheteshwar Pujara, Piyush Chawla
The India U19 team of 2006 produced four future India internationals. Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Cheteshwar Pujara and Piyush Chawla were part of the side that lost in the finals against arch-rival Pakistan.
Piyush Chawla was the first to make an international debut, followed by Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja and Cheteshwar Pujara. Sharma, Jadeja and Pujara have been regulars in the Indian team for a long time now. Shahbaz Nadeem, V Yomahesh, Abu Nechim and Debabrata Das were other players in the squad, who have been part of the IPL over the years.
U19 World Cup 2008 - Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Manish Pandey, Saurabh Tiwary, Siddarth Kaul
India won it's second U19 World Cup title in the year 2008. India defeated South Africa in the rain-curtailed final to clinch the title. A lot of promising players were seen playing for the Indian side in the tournament, but no one more than the captain Virat Kohli. The current India captain gave signs of his batting class in the tournament as he played some stunning innings for the team.
Ravindra Jadeja, who was playing his second U19 World Cup, was the vice-captain of the side. Other international India players like Manish Pandey, Siddarth Kaul, Abhinav Mukund and Saurabh Tiwary were also part of the team. Iqbal Abdulla, Shreevats Goswami, Pradeep Sangwan were other known players in the squad.
U19 World Cup 2010 - KL Rahul, Jaydev Unadkat, Sandeep Sharma, Mandeep Singh
U19 World Cup of 2010 was a forgettable one for India. India couldn't perform as per expectations and was knocked out in the Quarter-finals. However, there were some promising players who came into limelight because of their performances in the tournament. Current batting sensation, KL Rahul, was part of this Indian team.
Also, part of the squad was Jaydev Unadkat, who was the costliest Indian player at IPL auction 2018. Mandeep Singh and Sandeep Sharma also played for Team India for a brief period. Mayank Agarwal and Harshal Patel were other notable players in the side.
U19 World Cup 2014 - Kuldeep Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Deepak Hooda
India's latest spin wizard was part of the Indian side that played in the Under 19 World Cup that was held in U.A.E. Other young India prospects such as Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson and Deepak Hooda also played in the tournament.
Shreyas Iyer and Sanju Samson have already made their debuts for the Indian team, while Deepak Hooda was part of the squad selected for Nidahas trophy. Other young talents like Sarfaraz Khan, Avesh Khan, Ricky Bhui were part of the Indian team.
Under 19 World Cup 2016 - Rishabh Pant, Washington Sundar, Sarfaraz Khan, Ishan Kishan
India suffered a heartbreak in the finals of 2016 Under 19 World Cup as they lost to West Indies. The teams, coached by legendary Rahul Dravid, dominated the whole tournament and were favourites to win the finals too. But unfortunately, they failed to do so. However, the tournament gave some fine young talent to the nation.
Rishabh Pant has already made his Test debut and is considered to be the next big thing in Indian cricket. Washington Sundar has also impressed in his ODI debut. Ishan Kishan, Avesh Khan, Ibrahim Khaleel and Sarfaraz Khan have also been putting up good performances in domestic cricket and IPL and can make their India debut soon.