Batter Yash Dhull will lead a 17-member India squad at the next edition of the Under-19 World Cup, to be played across four countries in the Caribbean from January 14 to February 5 next year. The Delhi man’s deputy is SK Rasheed, the batter from Andhra Pradesh. India is grouped with Ireland, South Africa, and Uganda in Group B, and starts their campaign on January 15 against South Africa in Guyana, followed by fixtures on January 19 against Ireland and on January 22 against Uganda; both those matches will be played in Trinidad & Tobago.
Defending champions Bangladesh are in Group A with Canada, England, and UAE. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, and Zimbabwe make up Group C. And Group D has Australia, Scotland, Sri Lanka, and hosts West Indies. New Zealand is the only major side that will be missing in this edition of the tournament after they decided to withdraw owing to “extensive mandatory quarantine restrictions [because of Covid-19] for minors on their return home”. Scotland, who had initially missed qualification in the Europe qualifiers, became the 16th team to participate in New Zealand’s absence. Recently, in November-December, two India Under-19 sides, A and B, faced off against Bangladesh Under-19s in a triangular tournament in Kolkata, but fell short, with the visiting side winning all their matches, except one that was washed out, on their way to the title. The main India squad now has the Under-19 Asia Cup – to be played in the UAE from December 23 – to get its finetuning done. India, four-time title-winners, have been the most successful team in the history of the Under-19 World Cup, with Australia in second place, with three crowns, followed by Pakistan, who have won it twice. India last won the tournament in 2018, when they were led by Prithvi Shaw, and finished runners-up in 2020 to Bangladesh, who won the title for the first time. India’s other successes came in 2000, when they were led by Mohammad Kaif, in 2008, when Virat Kohli was the captain, and in 2012, under Unmukt Chand’s leadership. Squad: Yash Dhull (capt), SK Rasheed (vice-capt), Harnoor Singh, Angkrish Raghuvanshi, Nishant Sindhu, Siddarth Yadav, Aneeshwar Gautam, Dinesh Bana (wk), Aaradhya Yadav (wk), Raj Angad Bawa, Manav Parakh, Kaushal Tambe, RS Hangargekar, Vasu Vats, Vicky Ostwal, Ravikumar, Garv Sangwan.
Stand-by players: Rishit Reddy, Uday Saharan, Ansh Gosai, Amrit Raj Upadhyay, PM Singh Rathore.
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