15 February 2016
The FutureStars - XI players to watch from ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup 2016
We take a look at a formidable XI who look set to all have big futures in the game
As a batsman, Shimron Hetmyer started the tournament slowly, but found form when it mattered.
Yet another edition of the ICC Under-19 World Cup has come to an end. Staged across five venues in Bangladesh, the 19-day event tested the spectrum of human emotions for all those involved, but most specifically, the players themselves. Having played pivotal roles in everything from riveting thrillers to confounding controversies, a few of them emerged bold and strong, their cricketing prowess reaffirmed and their personalities reinforced.
There is the ballistic presence of Gidron Pope at the top, alongside the leading run-scorer Jack Burnham. The middle order possesses the enigmatic Sarfaraz Khan and the mature Charith Asalanka, among others, with Alzarri Joseph and Sandeep Lamichhane leading the pace and spin departments respectively.
So here's a look at a team that is chocked full of #FutureStars
1. Gidron Pope: The West Indies dressing room has christened him the young Chris Gayle, and the logic behind the nickname is flawless. His instinct is to attack, and he will do that or fall trying. The stats show that he had just two half-centuries – against England and Fiji – both of which came in the group stages. But even in the knockouts against Pakistan and Bangladesh, his belligerence at the top helped West Indies put the opposition on the back foot right from the outset. He scored an 18-ball 25 against Pakistan and a 25-ball 38 against Bangladesh, both of which were pivotal in the eventual victory. A livewire, if there was one.
2. Jack Burnham: The leading run-scorer of the tournament who scored a remarkable 3 centuries to equal the all-time tournament record of Shikhar Dhawan. Not only was it the runs that he scored but the way that he got them, with the authority of a batsmen who looks sure to go on to play at the very highest level for England. Despite the somewhat disappointing finish to England’s campaign he was a stand-out performer and would make the perfect foil to Pope’s aggression as an opener.
3. Shimron Hetmyer: West Indies’s captain fantastic has a mature head on his young shoulders. As skipper, he is aggressive with his field settings, and doesn’t hesitate in bowling out his pace spearheads early on. He likes to heap pressure on the batsmen. As a batsman, he started the tournament slowly, but found form when it mattered, scoring important half-centuries against Pakistan and Bangladesh with his positive attitude against spinners. He beats out Charith Asalanka as captain of this side.
4. Sarfaraz Khan: Touted as the best batsman in India’s side, Sarfaraz has the scores to back that belief. With five half-centuries in six matches batting at No. 4, Sarfaraz dug the Indian side out of a hole on a few occasions. Mostly inclined to attack, he showed impressive signs of restraint as well, none more so than in the final when, as the rest of the line-up crumbled, he propped up India’s total with an 89-ball 51. The only stick to beat Sarfaraz with in this World Cup as been an inability to convert starts into three figures – he was thrice dismissed in the 70s. But his talent is obvious, and he ended the tournament as the second highest run-scorer with 355 in six matches at 71.
5. Charith Asalanka: Avishka Gunawardene, the Sri Lanka assistant coach, had no qualms in openly stating that Asalanka was ahead of the curve compared to the rest of his Sri Lankan teammates. His maturity and the ability to learn quickly were pin-pointed as the reasons. All that was in evidence throughout the World Cup. He ended the tournament with 276 runs in six matches at 46, most of his runs coming in an effort to rebuild the innings. His part-time offspin also helped him chip in with four wickets.
6. Hasan Mohsin: The Pakistan allrounder is one of a kind in this team. He is a fine top-order batsman and his 293 runs in six matches placed him fourth in the run-scorers’ list. His average, a stunning 97.66, is also the highest among them, and he specialises in digging the team out of a hole and taking it across the line in a chase. He is also bowls with the new ball with disciplined medium pace, and has 11 wickets at a commendable 14.81. His all-round calibre made him a shoo-in in this line-up.
7. Mehedy Hassan Miraz: A very fine allrounder and as good a leader, Miraz already has a following in Bangladesh, and his starring performances in Bangladesh’s march to the semifinals further boosted his prospects as one to look out for. An offspinner, he has 12 wickets and an economy of just 3.75. With the bat, he has 242 runs, comprising four consecutive half-centuries, most of which came in fighting causes. It is his ability to soak in the pressure and deliver as a leader that has caught the eye the most though, and he has already drawn parallels with Mashrafe Mortaza.
8. Shamran Springer: The iconic image of the 2016 Under-19 World Cup will be that of Shamran Springer scoring the winning runs against Bangladesh in the semifinal and racing off to elatedly break into his now trademark jig – the chest roll. Springer has been one of the rocks behind West Indies’s march to the title, his ability to seamlessly move from defence to attack his biggest strength. With 282 runs in six matches, comprising a century and two half-centuries, he is among the top five run-scorers. With the ball, his medium pace at second change also gained West Indies seven wickets at an economy of just 4.50. He’s been one of their biggest stars.
9. Rory Anders: The Super League phase was a tad poorer for the absence of Rory Anders, the Ireland medium pacer. He is the sole representative from the Plate Championship in this side, but his individual performances meant he couldn’t be ignored. With 13 wickets in six matches at just 11.61 and a purr-inducing economy of 3.14, Anders ends as the third highest wicket-taker in the tournament. His gentle medium-pace is all about disciplined adherence to lines and lengths, and that helped him return 3 for 35 against India and 4 for 32 against New Zealand in the group stages. He would make for an excellent second-line bowler in this line-up.
10. Alzarri Joseph: He is the undisputed king of pace among the current crop of youngsters. He clocked a fear-inducing 147-kmph delivery against Zimbabwe, and watching him, one can almost see a trail of fire as the ball leaves his hand. He isn’t just all pace, though. He marries that with intelligent shifting of lines and lengths – the sudden short ball could knock the batsman’s head off – in so doing, he has picked up 13 wickets at just 13.46, including returns of 4 for 30 against Zimbabwe, a performance that would have carried more weight had it not been sidetracked by the Mankading incident. And like a few other pacers from the Caribbean, he is a man of few words.
11. Sandeep Lamichhane: From not being part of the original Nepal team that secured qualification for the World Cup, Lamichhane has come a long way. He ended the tournament as the second highest wicket-taker, his legspin yielding him 14 wickets in six outings with a best of 5 for 27. That included a hat-trick against Ireland as he became the fifth bowler in the history of the tournament to achieve that feat. He will lead this side in the spin department.
12th man: Mayank Dagar: With 11 wickets in four matches, including a fighting, albeit futile 3 for 25 in the final, Dagar slots in as the 12th man.
The team: Gidron Pope, Jack Burnham, Shimron Hetmyer (capt), Sarfaraz Khan, Charith Asalanka, Hasan Mohsin, Mehedi Hasan Miraz, Shamran Springer, Rory Anders, Alzarri Joseph, Sandeep Lamichhane. 12th man: Mayank Dagar.