The U-19 cricket world cup is always a breakthrough tournament for Indian players to perform to go to the next level. In the recent past, we have seen several Indian players who have been fast-tracked to international cricket.
The likes of Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill all were rewarded for the U-19 world cup performances and soon played for India. However, there have been some unfortunate players who failed to make it big after the U-19 world cup. These players performed consistently during their U-19 India days but just couldn’t excel after that and faded away.
In this feature, we take a look at 5 players who completely went off the boil after U-19 cricket and couldn’t play for India in international cricket.
5 India U-19 Cricketers Who Totally Faded Away
5. Baba Aparajith
In India’s world cup winning 2012 U-19 world cup campaign Baba Aparajith was one of the standout performers. The all-rounder in the tournament scored 71 runs in 6 innings at an average of 28.5 and was the fourth-highest run-getter in the tournament. With the ball too Aparajith did his job and 5 wickets in 6 matches at an average of 35. 8.
He played a key role in the quarter-finals against Pakistan when he steered India home with a valuable half-century. Post the world cup Aparajith continued to perform in domestic cricket and it seemed that he is a future star who will certainly represent India for a long time.
Aparajith was even acquired by CSK and Rising Pune Supergiants in 2016 but couldn’t even play a single match. His confidence took a beating after not getting a chance to play in the IPL and he completely disappeared. Now with the competition for places in the Indian team continues to increase it also highly improbable that Baba Aparajith will ever represent India in international cricket.
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4. Vijay Zol
Another player that completely waned away after the U-19 world is Vijay Zol. He was rated remarkably highly by pundits and represented India in two U-19 world cups in 2012 and 2014 respectively. He captained India in 2014 in which ended up having a disappointing tournament.
Post that Vijay Zol immensely improved his batting and made a name for himself when he scored a century on his Ranji Trophy debut against Maharashtra. The Rajasthan Royals then acquired the talented batsman for IPL 2014 but he was unable to perform in the entire season.
Thus far he has only been able to play 3 IPL matches in which he has scored mere 29 runs. Vijay Zol in first-class matches has played only 15 games and scored 733 runs at an average of 34.90. Zol surprisingly has drastically declined and even though he has age on his side it looks highly unlikely that he will go on to play in international cricket or the IPL.
Ricky Bhui played for India in the 2014 and 2016 U-19 cricket world cup. The batsman from Madhya Pradesh was touted as the next big thing as he has the ability to hit sixes at will. The Sunrisers Hyderabad roped him in their squad but he just couldn’t produce performances under pressure and was quickly sidelined.
Bhui continues to play domestic cricket and if he has a stand-out the season he then might earn an IPL contract again in the future.
2. Taruwar Kohli
When you’re surname is Kohli you are expected to make it big in international cricket. Sadly, if we talk about Taruwar Kohli exactly the opposite happened as he failed to live up to expectations after the 2008 U-19 world cup. In the 2008 event, he scored 218 runs in 6 matches at an average of 43.60 and was an integral part of Virat Kohli’s side that lifted the trophy in Malaysia.
After that Taruwar Kohli continued making loads of runs for Punjab in domestic cricket. He was one of the players from the 2008 U-19 batch who received an IPL contract in the first edition when he was acquired by Rajasthan Royals. It all went downhill for Taruwar from that point onwards as he failed to take his game to another level and ended up being the unsung hero of India’s 2008 U-19 world cup win.
1. Unmukt Chand
Unmukt Chand was believed to be destined for greatness after he led India to the 2012 U-19 world cup win. He was touted as the next Virat Kohli who will go on to be a future star for India. Chand was rated by every expert and cricket fan and it just seemed a matter of time before he will play for India.
Unfortunately for Chand that has not happened till now as his performances in domestic cricket and IPL were highly unsatisfactory. In 21 IPL matches, he has managed to score merely 300 runs at an average of 15 and a strike rate of a mere 100. Even in First-class matches, he has scored only 3184 runs in 60 matches at an average of 34.23.
Chand is currently 27 and continues to dream about playing for India but the competition of places is immense which is why chances of him playing international cricket look very bleak.
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