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Over the last two weeks the Under-19 World Cup has given some of the most promising players a chance to shine
February 21, 2006
Over the last two weeks the Under-19 World Cup has given some of the most promising players a chance to shine. For some this will be the pinnacle of their career, but for others the start of a rise to the top level. Andrew McGlashan picks out eleven players who have the ability to be stars on the world stage in years to come
Cheteshwar Pujara - India
A technically correct and compact opener, Pujara was named Player of the Tournament for his 349 runs. Like the rest of the Indian batting he failed in the final, but that shouldn't detract from a performance that has marked him out as a composed player. His unbeaten 129 against England was a perfect one-day innings from an opener: cautious at first, consolidation in the middle and an explosive finish. Some have doubts about his range of strokes, but he couldn't have done much more over the last two weeks to put himself on the cricketing map.
Moeen Ali - England
Ali came into the World Cup as the captain of a side that had lost 11 games on the trot on its previous tour. He had the pressure of trying to win over his team, as well as being a crucial allrounder. From the captaincy point of view he passed with flying colours, and his honest post-match reactions after the humiliation by India in the semi-finals were refreshing. His leadership was innovative and his team-mates clearly respected him. One half-century was a disappointing return but throw in his promising offspin and you have a versatile player.
Moises Henriques - Australia
The most complete player on show at the tournament. He arrived as the only member of the Australian squad to have represented their state at top domestic level, and he lived up to his billing. Always in the action, whether leading the side from slip, opening the bowling or batting at No. 3 and 4, Henriques exuded class and maturity. The Australian management couldn't speak highly enough of him and don't be surprised if he features at the 2011 World Cup.
Mushfiqur Rahim - Bangladesh
It's probably slightly unfair to include him as one for the future as he already has a Test cap under his belt, but the quality of his batting - not to mention his tidy work behind the stumps - stood out. There was a calmness about him at the crease and his measured 46 against Pakistan ensured his side reached the Super League. The disappointment was that he didn't get the opportunity in front of the TV cameras, after Bangladesh lost in the quarter-final to England. He has not had another chance in the senior side since his sole Test at Lord's, but it wouldn't be a surprise if he forges a career as a specialist batsman before taking over the gloves from Khaled Mashud.
Eoin Morgan - Ireland
Here is another talented Irish cricketer who will eventually have a choice to make. If he continues to score hundreds in a similar vein to his 124 against New Zealand he will start attracting attention and, as with his Middlesex colleague Ed Joyce, England will be one of the interested parties. However, it is four years until he qualifies so for the time being he can focus on the World Cup in West Indies. The talk around Irish cricket is that Morgan has the potential to be better than Joyce - he is already performing more consistently at the same age. An Irish middle order at Lord's is not far away.
Leon Johnson - West Indies
Many young West Indians have talked a good game but failed to deliver; you sense there is something different about Johnson. As yet, he has no delusions of grandeur and clearly does not mind hard work. Most importantly for a captain he led from the front when it mattered, striking 83 in the clash with South Africa to determine the final Super League place. The question remains, what next? Johnson needs the right type of guidance because West Indies cricket can't afford to let talent slip through the net.
Kanishka Chaugai - Nepal
He is unlikely to have the opportunity to grace the game at the highest level, but Chaugai has a huge part to play in Nepal's future. This was his third World Cup and he used all his experience to guide his side to the Plate Championship. His flamboyant cameos launched many of Nepal's innings in a blaze of boundaries and if he adds greater discipline he can be a formidable player.
Piyush Chawla - India
The legspinner lived up to his reputation - one built on dismissing Sachin Tendulkar with a googly during the Challenger Series - and finished as India's leading wicket taker. He already has wonderful control of his variations and is certainly not afraid to give the ball some air. No slouch with the bat, either, and there is a formidable allrounder in the making. There are even whispers of him being thrown into action against England as a surprise weapon.
Jamshed Ahmed - Pakistan
The Pakistan production line of talented pace bowlers continues to churn them out. Unlike his opening partner, Jamshed already has the ability to swing the ball both ways and, although his returns were not quite so dramatic as Anwar, he is a more complete package. He has a bustling run up, not dissimilar to Wasim Akram, and once he bulks out a little will be capable of finding an extra yard of pace.
Andrew McGlashan is editorial assistant of CricinfoFeeds: Andrew McGlashan
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