Atit Sheth back in India squad for U-19 World Cup
The India-U19s selectors have not tinkered much with the combination that won the Asia Cup in the UAE earlier this month, making just one change in the 15-player squad named for the World Cup - which will be played at the same venues - in February: medium-pacer Atit Sheth comes in, in place of left-armer Rishi Arothe.
Pritam Chakraborty, who was in the Asia Cup sixteen, misses out as he will be overage by the time the World Cup begins.
Vijay Zol, who had scored a match-winning hundred for the team against Pakistan in the Asia Cup final, will continue to lead. Zol also played a key role for Maharashtra in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final last week, scoring an unbeaten 91 to help them run down a target of 252 to dump domestic giants Mumbai out of the competition. He is one of only two players in the squad with previous World Cup experience, having been part of the squad that won the title in Australia in 2012. The other is batsman Akhil Herwadkar, who had scored a century and a fifty in five games in the Asia Cup.
Kerala wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson, who made headlines last week after he was the youngest player retained by an IPL franchise ahead of the 2014 season - he was held back by Rajasthan Royals - is also part of the fifteen. Samson had also scored a hundred in the Asia Cup final.
Sheth is not a completely new face on the U-19 circuit, having played in the away series against Sri Lanka in August 2013, and the quadrangular series in Visakhapatnam in September that also included Australia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. He played four games in all, in those two series, claiming five wickets.
Bharat Arun, the long-time India U-19 coach, who was also part of the successful World Cup campaign in 2012, will continue to coach the side.
India are slotted into Group A at the World Cup, with Pakistan, Scotland and Papua New Guinea. Their opening game is against Pakistan, on February 15, in Dubai.
Squad: Vijay Zol (capt), Akhil Herwadkar, Ankush Bains, Ricky Bhui, Sanju Samson (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Kuldeep Yadav, Amir Gani, Karan Kaila, Chama Milind, Avesh Khan, Monu Kumar, Atit Sheth