Karnataka’s Shubhang, Vidyadhar in U-19 WC squad

Shubhang Hedge and Vidyadhar Patil. (Photo/Facebook)

Karnataka’s Shubhang Hedge and Vidyadhar Patil were rewarded for their excellent consistency with their inclusion in the India U-19 squad for the upcoming World Cup in South Africa.

The gifted Uttar Pradesh batsman Priyam Garg was named the captain of the 15-member squad for the showpiece event to be held from January 17 to February 9. India, the four-time champion, will be looking to defend their title in the 13th edition of the event. Led by Prithvi Shaw, India had defeated Australia by eight wickets in the final of the previous edition.

The 18-year-old Shubhang, a star performer for the last five years in the age-group tournaments of Karnataka State Cricket Association and the BCCI, was a regular member of the India U-19 and U-23 sides. The left-arm spinner was even made the skipper of the India U-19 side that played one-dayers against Afghanistan in Lucknow.    

A terrific season two years ago saw him get picked for the Royal Challengers Bangalore practice games, in which he bowled under the watchful eyes of his idol New Zealand's Daniel Vettori. A trainee of Karnataka Institute of Cricket (KIOC), Shubhang is a handy batsman as well.

Vidyadhar Patil, the right-arm fast bowler, has come up the ranks with impressive performances in the U-19 Challenger Trophy and the five-match one-day series against Afghanistan U-19.  

Strongside

India, the most successful team in the history of the tournament, begin their campaign with a strong side. The fast-rising Garg, who made his domestic cricket debut last season, already has a first-class double century and a List A ton under his belt.

The 17-year-old Yashasvi Jaiswal’s sensational Vijay Hazare Trophy, where he made heads turn by hammering 564 runs in just six games, made him an automatic choice. The fact that the southpaw produced a stellar show in his maiden List A tournament has led to cricket pundits wondering if he is the next big thing in Mumbai cricket.

Atharva Ankolekar, another talented youngster from Mumbai, has made it to the squad. In September, the left-arm spinner single-handedly helped India bag the Asia Cup with an effort of 5/28 that saw Bangladesh fall five-run short of the 107-run target.

Squad: Priyam Garg (captain), Dhruv Chand Jurel (vice-captain & wicketkeeper), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Divyaansh Saxena, Shashwat Rawat, Divyansh Joshi, Ravi Bishnoi, Akash Singh, Kartik Tyagi, Atharva Ankolekar, Kumar Kushagra (wicketkeeper), Sushant Mishra, Vidyadhar Patil.

India’s Group: Group A: India, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Japan.    

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