Himanshu Rana, the Haryana batsman who turned 19 on October 1, will lead a 15-member squad for the Under-19 Asia Cup which will take place in Malaysia from November 9 to 20.
The Junior Selection committee opted for a new-look squad from the team that travelled to England in August and had great success, winning the one-dayers 5-0 and the four-dayers 2-0, with only six players retained from that tour including Rana and Abhishek Sharma, the vice-captain. The other four in the squad picked on Monday (October 16) are Salman Khan, Harvik Desai, Anukul Roy and Shiva Singh.
While the likes of Shubman Gill, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi – who all enjoyed great success in England – were not picked because each of them were in varying stages of injury recovery, the selectors felt that Prithvi Shaw, 17, would be better served playing the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2017-18, where he is part of Mumbai’s first-choice XI. “The selectors were of the opinion that 17-year-old Prithvi Shaw, who recently scored a century (154) in the Duleep Trophy final, should play in the ongoing Ranji Trophy,” said the Board of Control for Cricket in India in a statement.
Shaw recently hit 154 in the Duleep Trophy final to take India Red to a 163-run win against India Blue before turning out for India A against New Zealand A in a five-match 50-over series.
Rahul Chahar, who was also part of the England touring party, was likely not considered for the same reason though no explanation was offered. Chahar was recently picked in the Board President’s XI side that will take on the New Zealanders in two warm-up 50-overs matches before India and New Zealand engage in a limited-overs series. Chahar, who is from Rajasthan, is also part of the Services squad in the Ranji Trophy, having been recruited as a professional.
However, Anuj Rawat, the wicketkeeper-batsman who made his debut for Delhi in this year’s Ranji Trophy, was part of the U-19 squad. Sharma, the vice-captain, who has led the U19 side previously, also made his debut for Punjab in this season. Rawat made 71 against Assam on debut while Sharma made 94 against Himachal Pradesh.
Among the other names missing for the Asia Cup but who were part of the limited-overs squad in England are Het Patel, S Radhakrishnan, Yash Thakur and Ishan Porel.
Among those included for the Asia Cup are middle-order batsmen Manjot Kalra and Riyan Parag, and right-arm pacers Darshan Nalkande and Vivekanand Tiwary. All four were part of the four-day games in England, but not the 50-over skirmishes.
Atharva Taide (Batsman, Vidarbha), Tanush Kotian (Batsman, Mumbai), Aditya Thakare (right-arm pacer, Vidarbha) and Mandeep Singh (Bowler, Punjab) are first-timers in the U-19 squad, alongside Rawat.
The tournament was set to be played in India before the Pakistan Cricket Board raised objections citing player security, leading to the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) to shift the competition to Malaysia.
India are the defending champions and have won the event three times. There will be eight teams in the fray of which six – India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Hong Kong – have already been confirmed. The last two teams are yet to be decided.
Last year, India won the tournament by beating hosts Sri Lanka by 34 runs in the final in Colombo.
India Under-19 squad: Himanshu Rana (captain), Abhishek Sharma (vice-captain), Atharva Taide, Manjot Kalra, Salman Khan, Anuj Rawat, Harvik Desai, Riyan Parag, Anukul Roy, Shiva Singh, Tanush Kotian, Darshan Nalkande, Vivekanand Tiwary, Aditya Thakare, Mandeep Singh.