We have just seen the climax of a very fascinating U19 world cup held in the UAE. A tournament that any of the teams could have won, was eventually claimed by South Africa. This was the countries top honour in their cricketing history. We saw the next crop of future international stars going head to head to produce some fascinating cricket. South Africa the champions went a bit under the radar beating one of the favourites Pakistan in the final. other teams were more fancied over South Africa, this being teams such as England, Australia and India. Although this competition is about winning it also is a good opportunity to see the talent that is coming through.
The majority of the teams performed as their senior counter parts do. For example India have a classy batting line up but lack the one class bowler who could rip through the opposition. The batting and fielding bailed out India up until the quarter final. England showed spells good batting and bowling but were undone twice by sub-continent sides in pressure situations. Pakistan had a few lower order collapses just like the senior side have suffered so much. The only exception to this were South Africa, they overcame their nemesis in Australia. That to in a semi final, they went on to win a major ICC trophy, something that no South African side has done before.
Many players stood out, here’s a list of the players to look out for in the future:
Inam-Ul-Huq/Sami Aslam: These two players have big futures in the side. The two openers will be buoyed on by Pakistan’s record of blooding young players. In many games these two carried the batting line up. Sami being the captain showed good leadership throughout the competition. Inam has the talent to be a player in the mould of his uncle the great Inzamam.
Aiden Markram: He will be fondly remembered in South Africa is the man who guided the side to their first ICC trophy. His leadership and calm play under pressure was a reason why South Africa did so well. He will find it hard to immediately break into the senior side but has a good chance if he develops his game.
Nicolas Pooran: If you had to back one player to hit a six at any time, you would pick him. His clean striking and composure under pressure will in no doubt attract many IPL sides in the future. He is also a good wicketkeeper. Definitely a player to watch and possibly the next cab off the block after Gayle and Pollard.
Ben Duckett: Like Bairstow and Butler England have another player who is multi talented. He is the sides best batsman, a good wicket keeper and can also field anywhere. Unfortunately England do not have the best record of blooding young players but Duckett should push his way through in the next five years. Often compared to Eoin Morgan for his ability to handle spinners.
Sarfaraz Khan: An allrounder, he did a similar role to what Yuvraj Singh used to do for India. He has a similar personality aswell, being the life of the Indian side. On the face of it he doesn’t look the greatest player, but when the pressure is on he seems to play better. Also a good fielder, like many of his under 19 team mates. He now faces the challenge of forcing his way into an IPL side and keeping up these performances.
Other players to look for are Matthew Fisher, a good English swing bowler, put many teams under pressure. Rabada from South Africa who showed good pace on grounds that didn’t really suit him, Zafar Gohar who didnt have a great tournament but showed on occasions why he will be the next big spinner. Also Vijay Zol the Indian captain and Sunju Sampson also from India both have good careers in front of them.