Under-19 World Cup XI: India-heavy batting and Asian-dominated bowling
As many as four Indians found a place in ESPNcricinfo's team of the tournament. In total, players from five countries found a place with a 12th man from a sixth team
After three weeks of the Under-19 World Cup, where three subcontinent sides made the semi-finals in New Zealand, India emerged runaway winners in a spotless campaign. As many as four Indians found a place in ESPNcricinfo's team of the tournament. In total, players from five countries found a place with a 12th man from a sixth team.
Prithvi Shaw (capt, India)
With the bat, his wasn't a flawless tournament with a few technical chinks perhaps needing attention, but those are for another day. He still produced scores of 94, 57*, 40, 41 and 29. The cover drives, in particular, oozed class. On the field and off it, he was clearly the man in charge and will lead the side. His shrewd field placements, particularly in the final, on the face of a threatening fifth-wicket stand helped scupper Australia. His slip catching deserves mention too.
Manjot Kalra (India)
New Zealand's Rachin Ravindra was Kalra's nearest competitor, having single-handedly won New Zealand key contests against West Indies and South Africa with bat and left-arm spin in a group of death. But a century in a World Cup final meant Kalra forced his way in. Outside of his century, he made 86 against Australia in India's tournament opener.
Shubman Gill (India)
Four successive 50-plus scores in the tournament, including a match-winning century in the semi-final against Pakistan made him an automatic pick. He single-handedly carried India's batting in the tournament. His dominating presence and authoritative strokeplay earned special praise from India coach Rahul Dravid, who seldom talks up individuals. In the final, his 31 was perhaps one of the most attractive sub-50 scores in recent times.
Darwish Rasooli (Afghanistan)
Two match-winning half-centuries, against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, helped Afghanistan become the first team in their group to secure a quarter-final berth. His composure in an unbeaten 76 helped steer Afghanistan from 50 for 3 in a tricky 189 chase in the opening game. Against Sri Lanka, he sustained momentum given by the top order to post a big score batting first.
Ali Zaryab (Pakistan)
Labelled 'The Wall' of the Pakistan Under-19 team, Zaryab absorbed pressure and conjured vital back-to-back half-centuries in winning causes, first against Sri Lanka in a must-win game and then against South Africa in the quarter-final. Both of them came in fairly tight chases too.
Wandile Makwetu (wk, South Africa)
Outstanding catches behind the stumps, pugnacious contributions in front of it, there were not many wicketkeepers who challenged Wandile Makwetu. His unbeaten 99 against West Indies helped blast 100-plus runs in the last 10 overs and gave them 282, a score that turned out to be match-winning. Against Pakistan, he stood head and shoulders above the rest in making a combative 60 in tough conditions against a fiery pace attack.
Afif Hossain (Bangladesh)
Came with the reputation of being an allrounder to watch out for and lived up to it, even though he couldn't do it all for Bangladesh in a campaign where they lost in the quarter-final. But by the time he boarded the flight home, he had accrued four half-centuries, a five-for and a three-for. Two of those fifties came against quality attacks: England and South Africa.
Kamlesh Nagarkoti (India)
Capable of bowling in the high 140s with consistency and intensity across spells, he was one of the most impressive fast bowlers in the competition. Equally outstanding was his fielding at backward point. His three-wicket burst in the tournament opener against Australia hit the high notes. It was a match where he clocked 145.5kph on the speedgun.
Gerald Coetzee (South Africa)
Tall and with a skiddy action, Coetzee consistently troubled batsmen with his bounce even on flat batting wickets. His use of angles and the crease stood out. A seam presentation that impressed Ian Bishop, Coetzee's best show came in the fifth-place playoff game where he picked a five-for against New Zealand. His dismissal of in-form West Indies batsman Keagan Simmons in a crucial group fixture proved vital in South Africa's road to the knockouts.
Qais Ahmad (Afghanistan)
It was a question of consistency over one stellar performance. Ahmad, a traditional legspinner, consistently troubled all the top sides and picked at least two wickets in every game. In comparison, Australia's Lloyd Pope, who was also in consideration, had just the one record-breaking 8 for 35 in the quarter-final against England to show for. Ahmed's manner of running through the tail to knock hosts New Zealand out was impressive.
Shaheen Afridi (Pakistan)
Pace, accuracy, disconcerting bounce - he has all the elements. He blew Ireland away in a fiery spell that helped Pakistan post a big win and eventually top the group. He held his own against India, but was unlucky to be let down by the fielders. He dismissed two of the top three in a must-win game against Sri Lanka, and also sent back the openers against South Africa.
12th man Alick Athanaze (West Indies)
The calmness and the range of strokes he exhibited made you wonder why he wasn't batting in the top three. Clearly a shade above all other West Indies batsmen, Athanaze finished the tournament as the highest run-scorer.
Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo