Prithvi Shaw, Himanshu Rana and Abhishek Sharma have been named captains for the Under-19 Challenger Trophy, which will take place in Mumbai from November 26 to December 2. Shaw will lead Team A, Rana will captain Team B and Abhishek will be the skipper for Team C. The teams will play each other once before the top two teams contest the final.
The junior selection committee named on Monday (November 6) three squads of 13 players each for the tournament, which will take place immediately after the conclusion of the Under-19 Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur from November 9 to 20. The tournament was originally slated to be held in Bangalore, but had to be moved out of India after the Cricket Board expressed concerns over security.
Shaw has been in terrific form in the current first-class season, following up a century on debut in the Duleep Trophy with two hundreds in two matches for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy 2017-18, against Tamil Nadu and Odisha. Rana has a fifty for Haryana against Gujarat, while Abhishek hit 94 for Punjab and took a four-wicket haul with his left-arm spin.
Rana has been named captain for the Asia Cup, with Abhishek his deputy. Shaw is among several prominent U-19 players who aren’t a part of the Asia Cup squad. While the selectors felt Shaw would be better off playing for Mumbai in the ongoing Ranji Trophy, the likes of Shubman Gill, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi – heroes of India’s triumphant tour of England in August – were not considered due to varying states of rehabilitation from injury.
Gill, Nagarkoti and Mavi will, however, play in the Challenger Trophy, which will be an important part of India’s preparations in the lead-up to the ICC Under-19 World Cup, starting on January 13 in New Zealand.
India had an overwhelmingly successful tour of England, winning the one-dayers 5-0 and the four-dayers 2-0 for an all-win record. WV Raman, who had stepped in as the coach of the side due to Rahul Dravid being with the India A team in South Africa at the same time, told Wisden India after the tour that he expected the Indian team to lift the Under-19 World Cup based on their showing.
Challenger Trophy squads:
Team A: Prithvi Shaw (capt), Atharva Thaide, Anuj Rawat (wk), Ryan Parag, Ayush Badoni, Mayank Rawat, Shiva Singh, Rahul Chahar, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Arshdeep Singh, Vivekanand Tiwari, U Mukhilesh, Akash Pandey.
Team B: Himanshu Rana (capt), Manjot Kalra, Urvil Patel (wk), Om Bhosle, Nayan R Chavan, Varun Goud, Harsh Tyagi, Shreyas BM, Shivam Mavi, Aditya Thakre, Mandeep Singh, Manoj Bandage, Ninad Ratwa.
Team C: Abhishek Sharma (capt), Shubman Gill, Ankush Singh, Aryan Juyal (wk), Salman Khan, Harvik Desai (wk), Sidharth Desai, Tanush Kotian, Darshan Nalkande, Ishan Porel, Mohit Jangra, Priyam Garg, Pankaj Yadav.