Yadav's mystery and Doran's potential
The Under-19 World Cup brings several promising young talents to the world stage. Often times this is the first step to thrust these players into limelight, whether at first-class or even at national level. Here's a selection of five players to watch out for in this year's event.
Kuldeep Yadav (India)
Kuldeep Yadav represents a rare commodity not just in Indian cricket, but in the world game - the left-arm chinaman bowler. The Kanpur-born Yadav hasn't played yet for his state Uttar Pradesh in any format, but since July 2013 he has been a vital member of the Under-19 squad and is likely to be the lead spinner. He didn't make the cut for the 2012 World Cup in Australia but the following year, in the same country, he made an impact by taking nine wickets in the Top End series, the most by an Indian bowler. He has been a consistent performer since that comeback, taking 32 wickets in 16 U-19 one-dayers with a best of 4 for 34 against Zimbabwe in Visakhapatnam. Yadav's unorthodox style of bowling lends variety to the attack.
Jake Doran (Australia)
Jake Doran follows in the footsteps of his brother Luke, the left-arm spinner who represented Australia in the 2010 U-19 World Cup. Doran, the wicketkeeper batsman from New South Wales, was picked to represent Cricket Australia Chairman's XI against the touring England team at Alice Springs in November 2013, while still a 16-year-old schoolboy. He scored 17 in the game. Doran, who is difficult to pin down because of his ability to be busy at the crease, caught Greg Chappell's attention and reminded him of retired Australia batsman Michael Hussey. Doran was the highest-scorer for Australia in the Top End series last year, scoring 208 runs with two fifties. Like Hussey did with merit, Doran wants to succeed in the longest format. "So far for me I've always looked at the long form of the game, I've always tried to develop that and especially in the off season that was my main focus, my main goal to pursue that long-term format," Doran said.
Dominic Sibley (England)
Another schoolboy-cricketer making waves Sibley, the right-hand batsman from Surrey, made history when he scored 242 in only his third first-class match, making him the youngest player to make a first-class double-century in the County Championship. He reached the landmark at The Oval against Yorkshire, off his 484th ball and eventually spent almost 10 hours at the crease. Sibley is a product of London's Whitgift School, where he came in on a sports scholarship, and was in his final year when he was given time off to play for Surrey. He was earlier picked to play for England Under-19s in South Africa where he made a century in one of the Tests and finished the highest run-scorer for England in the one-dayers with 197 runs. For now, Geography, English and PE can wait. The World Cup is Sibley's top priority.
Clyde Fortuin (South Africa)
The wicketkeeper batsman from Western Province was the leading run-scorer for South Africa in the quadrangular series in Visakhapatnam last year, scoring 260 runs with three fifties. He was also the top-scorer in the U-19 one-dayers against England with 291 runs. Fortuin earned a scholarship to the prestigious St Joseph's College in Rondebosch. His U-19 coach Ray Jennings believes that in a few years' time, Fortuin could be South Africa's next wicketkeeping hope. For now, he would do well to emulate Quinton de Kock's exploits from the previous World Cup. Not surprisingly, his idol is AB de Villiers.
Mosaddek Hossain (Bangladesh)
Mosaddek Hossain has already given a glimpse of his talent, during this season's Dhaka Premier League. He played for 17-time champions Abahani, and was the highest scorer, with 435 runs at an average of 54.38 with a century and three fifties, till he had to leave to play the Under-19 matches. More than the runs, it was the dominant nature of his batting that caught the eye. Abahani were in big trouble from the start of the season but Mosaddek, only 18, was their main man. A middle-order batsman, he captained the U-19 side in the home series against Sri Lanka in April 2013. He performed well, scoring over 400 runs across formats and included a match-winning 98 in the third ODI. Mosaddek has been a potential star for Bangladesh for a while now. His role model as a captain is MS Dhoni while his favorite cricketer is Virat Kohli. His favorite Bangladesh player is Nasir Hossain, who happens to be only four years his senior.
With inputs from Mohammad Isam
Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo