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Andrew McGlashan charts the progress of former Under-19 World Cup captains
February 3, 2006
The Under-19 World Cup is billed as a breeding ground for future international stars ... but how many of them actually make it to the top? Andrew McGlashan casts an eye over six former captains who made good impressions during their time in charge
Held the trophy aloft when England beat New Zealand in the final at Centurion Park, guiding his side home with a mature half-century. That knock was Shah's only half-century of the tournament, but he led the side impressively. With two seasons for Middlesex already under his belt he was expected to move swiftly through the ranks and into the full side.
Still on the fringes of the national side after a brief period in the one-day squad from 2001-2003. Consistent form for Middlesex has kept him in the frame and he would have been a likely stand-by for Michael Vaughan, on the tour of Pakistan, if he hadn't been recovering from injury at the time. Selected for the England A tour of West Indies and if he has a successful run in the Caribbean, a Test career is still there for the taking.
Although New Zealand made the final, Englefield never really set the World Cup alight. He often struggled to force the pace, although his one half-century was a vital 54 in the Super League stage against Sri Lanka. He was overshadowed by the more flamboyant batting of the Marshall brothers - James and Hamish - and was let down by his bowlers in the final after they had posted a competitive 241.
Has enjoyed a moderate career with Canterbury and Central Districts, with occasional appearances for New Zealand A, but has yet to fulfill his potential. In the early stages of this season he was averaging 31, similar to his first-class career average of 34, figures which suggest missed opportunities. His one-day average of 24 even more disappointing and, although he is only 26, the chances of full honours with New Zealand have, in all probability, passed him by.
A story of another captain not really firing with the bat as Kaif averaged 34 from eight matches. But he led a strong Indian side, including Yuvraj Singh, Reetinder Sodhi and Ajay Ratra, to the title. This was Kaif's second U-19 World Cup and despite the modest returns in this tournament his ability was clear.
Kaif is the player who has suffered most with regards to the on/off nature of Sourav Ganguly's international future. He has regularly been shunted in and out of the side, and up and down the batting order. Admittedly he hasn't always helped himself with some loose dismissals during his short Test career, but the tantalising glimpses of his strokeplay suggest that, if he can get his mindset right, a long and fruitful career lies ahead. He is already a regular in the one-day squad, where he is developing into a key finisher.
There was a suggestion that Gajanayake was selected for the captaincy because he went to the right school and was a safe choice. His results with the bat suggested he wasn't quite up to the task, making 85 runs in five innings. However, he guided Sri Lanka to the final, before they succumbed to the classy Indian side.
Has managed to play 60 first-class matches, despite his average not passing the low twenties. However, the introduction of Twenty20 in Sri Lanka has allowed him to reinvent himself somewhat, as he played a useful role in Chilaw Marians' tournament success last year, resulting in him taking part in the International 20:20 Club Championship at Leicester in September. Has never threatened an international career, though, and won't in the future.
White could not really have done more to aid Australia's victorious campaign - save perhaps taking a few more wickets: a tally of two did not do justice to his legspin. However, with the bat he was phenomenal, scoring 423 runs, the most in the tournament, with an average of 70 and strike rate of 97, including a destructive 156 against Scotland. He added an important 64 against West Indies in the semi-final and was lauded for his mature style of captaincy.
A blond legspinner, who captains Victoria and is breaking into the Australian one-day side. You can see where this is going? White is a very different player to Shane Warne, but has benefited from coming through the ranks with Warne by his side. He was thrust into the captaincy for Victoria in 2003-04, and the inexperienced skipper was left with a young side when a group of senior players left in a rush. A few opportunities in the Australian one-day squad have come his way, mainly as the Supersub, but it won't be long until he is a regular pick. Has signed with Somerset for 2006, where he will be able to work further on his allround game.
The development of Amla was watched from the early days with great interest around South Africa, because of what his success would mean to the national team. He led them to the final, but never quite made the scores his numerous starts indicated he would. A rapid half-century in the opening match against Bangladesh and a run-a-ball 62 against India in the semi-final, to set up the clash with arch rivals Australia, were the personal highlights.
He was found out by the England pace attack during the 2004-05 series and now finds himself in domestic cricket trying to force his way back through weight of runs. He has never had a problem racking up scores for the Dolphins (formerly Kwa-Zulu Natal), as an average of 47 testifies. He was handed his international chance as South Africa looked to rebuild their side and fulfil their quota requirements. However, some serious technical issues were exposed. At least, at 22, he has plenty of time to iron out the problems and start again.
Andrew McGlashan is editorial assistant of CricinfoFeeds: Andrew McGlashan
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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