ICC U-19 World Cup 2022: Relive India's rich legacy in Under-19 WC
January 2000, Sri Lanka, is where it all began- India's glorious journey in the Under-19 World Cup.
January 2022, West Indies, is where Yash Dhull's India is eyeing its fifth win in the high-octane tournament. The Under-19 World Cup is a witness to India's vociferous repertoire that resides in the young guns. The Under-19 ecosystem can be touted as the mitochondria as it has given the nation some of the scintillating stars who have been the front runners for India.
For Sehwag, Harbhajan, Pujara, Yuvraj, Rohit, and Virat, this league has been the launchpad to their iconic cricketing careers. While some witnessed their careers ballooning up as they rose through the tournament and the ranks, a few struggled to find their feet in the domestic cricket even after their promising stints in the Under-19 ecosystem.
The 'Boys in Blue' have been the most successful team in the Under-19 World Cup. Ever since its inception in 1988 India have lifted four titles and have finished thrice as the runners-up. India's winning spree started in 2000 under the captaincy of Mohammad Kaif. In 2008 it was under Virat Kohli's leadership, in 2012, Unmukt Chand was at the help of the affairs to the latest win in 2018 where Prithvi Shaw was the skipper. To say India as the conquerors of the marquee event wouldn't be an understatement!
India couldn't have asked for a better build-up and a booster dose to their U-19 World Cup campaign in 2022. Yash Dhull led Indian Team would be high on confidence as they are coming into the tournament after clinching the Under-19 Asia Cup 2021-22. Besides, convincing wins in the two warm-up matches of the 16-nation tournament has come as a shot in the arm for the Indian boys.
As India begin their U-19 World Cup campaign against South Africa on January 15 in Guyana, West Indies, let's journey India's trajectory in the history of the tournament so far.
India got their hands first time on the glittering trophy in 2000 when they defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets in the final under Mohammad Kaif's leadership. The tournament was held for the first time on Asian soil. Yuvraj Singh was the find for team India who was adjudged Man of the Series.
Captain- Mohammad Kaif
Coach- Roger Binny
India tasted success for the second time in the U-19 World Cup under the burning fire of Virat Kohli. Held in Malaysia, Kohli's side defeated South Africa by 12 runs on the basis of the Duckworth-Lewis rule in the final match of the World Cup. While Tanmay Srivastava was the chief architect of India's win the tournament, the team found boiling blood in Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey and Ravindra Jadeja who were also part of the winning team.
Captain- Virat Kohli
Coach- Dave Whatmore
Unmukt Chand's brilliant 111-run knock guided India to a celebratory win against Australia by six wickets. The victory tasted different as India beat Australia in their backyard while chasing. India found cricketing prodigies in Unmukt Chand and Hanuma Vihari as they lifted the third title.
Captain- Unmukt Chand
Coach- Bharat Arun
India's latest celebration in U-19 World Cup came in 2018 that accounted for the fourth win. Under the leadership of Prithvi Shaw, India exhibited a praiseworthy show as the team won all their matches of the tournament. India conquered the final frontier by defeating Australia by eight wickets in the final. The semis win all the more juicy where India crushed Pakistan to register a big victory of 203 runs. Prithvi Shaw and his deputy Shubman Gill emerged as the promising stars who are currently acing for a permanent spot in the Indian team.
Captain- Prithvi Shaw
Coach- Rahul Dravid
There were chances missed by narrow chances in 2006, 2016 and 2020 where India returned as runner-ups in the prestigious tournament.
As India have carved a niche for themselves in the Under-19 World Cup, the hopes are all alive in the ongoing fourteenth edition of the tournament in West Indies.