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2019 - Youngsters XI for Tests

Gulraj Bedi
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
1.67K   //    03 Jan 2019, 20:12 IST

Latham has been in red-hot form for the Kiwis this summer
Latham has been in red-hot form for the Kiwis this summer

The exuberance of youth has always created ripples in the world of cricket. Everyone remembers a young and bubbly Virat Kohli making his debut in 2008. The rest, as they say, is history. There is something about the current set of youngsters across nationalities that excites cricket enthusiasts like never before. There are batsmen who have created a name for themselves at a young age. And then, there are bowlers who are eating five-wicket hauls for breakfast.

Kagiso Rabada, in particular, had been the best bowler across formats in 2018. He made the ball do the talking and tormented batters across the globe. As far as the batsmen are concerned, 2018 had Virat Kohli's name written all over it. With centuries in England, South Africa, and Australia, he became the modern-day run machine. But quite interestingly, there were a lot of youngsters who made their presence felt.

Who can forget Kusal Mendis' herculean effort? It was an innings for the legends to narrate. Also, not to forget Hardik Pandya's heroics at the Trent Bridge in Nottingham - An effort that saw him scoring an unbeaten 50 and picking up a fifer in England's first innings to lay the foundation for a famous Indian victory.

With the international cricketing calendar getting jam-packed with each passing minute, it certainly would be no hyperbole to say that cricket is a young man's game. 2018 saw many young players taking giant strides in the world of cricket. Here's a look at eleven youngsters who can take on the world if they join forces.

The criteria for selection is the player's performance for his national side in 2018.

But before going into the actual XI, let us take a look at some notable mentions which missed out marginally:

1) Duanne Olivier (South Africa)

2) Shai Hope and Kyle Hope ( both of them from the West Indies)

3) Shaheen Afridi (Pakistan)

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4) Hanuma Vihari (India)

5) Marcus Harris (Australia)

6. Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)

The Openers:

Tom Latham (New Zealand) - wk

His form in 2018 had been nothing short of extraordinary. Latham's scintillating show with the bat across formats has had a direct impact on New Zealand's consistent run in 2018. His monumental 264 not out against Sri Lanka in December 2018 saw him carrying his bat. That knock ended up earning him a lot of fans across the globe. He could also act as the wicket-keeper of the side.

Tests: 6

Runs: 658

Average: 59.8

100s: 2

Best: 264

Prithvi Shaw (India)

His exploits against the Windies in his debut series were exceptional
His exploits against the Windies in his debut series were exceptional

The pocket-sized dynamo from India took the cricketing world by storm when he played a pivotal role in helping the Indian U-19 team lift the World Cup. He created a lot of ripples after scoring a century on debut against the West Indies. A sound technique, an aggressive mindset, and the hunger to go big, Shaw has all the traits to make it big on the international level. Given his talent and young age, he'd surely be Indian cricket's next big thing.

Tests: 2

Runs: 237

Average: 118.5

100s: 1

Best: 134

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