The 2008 U-19 World Cup Indian side brought several young prodigies into the limelight after the Boys in Blue clinched the title in Malaysia. Virat Kohli and his troops were an invincible force throughout the campaign as several players showed promise to be the next big thing in the world of cricket. While many succeeded in the competitive arena, few lost track as well. Let’s take a look at where the cricketers of the batch of India Under-19 2008 are in 2022.
Duvvarapu Siva Kumar
The bowling all-rounder did not get a chance to play in the U-19 World Cup but later became a consistent performer for Andhra in the domestic circuit. A clinical seamer, Kumar finished third in the list of leading wicket-takers in the 2014-15 Ranji Trophy season.
The young wicket-keeper batter showed promise in the U-15 Polly Umrigar Trophy back in 2004-05. He did not get a chance to feature in the XI as Goswami was picked as the first-choice wicket-keeper. After the U-19 World Cup, very few opportunities followed his way. He was a part of the KXIP management back in 2015. Presently, the 32-year-old runs his family’s real-estate business quitting cricket.
The Tamil Nadu right-hand batter smashed a cracking 92 on his Ranji Trophy one-day tournament debut against Kerala. In the 2008 U-19 World Cup, Einstein only got 1 match in the entire tournament. CSK picked him in the inaugural edition of the IPL. However, the cricketer failed to convert opportunities into results and therefore soon got dropped from the Tamil Nadu squad.
Another southpaw who could pierce the offside at will with glamourous drives, Mukund has been one of the most consistent cricketers of the domestic circuit. A prolific run-scorer, Mukund sealed his spot in the Tamil Nadu dressing room. He was only 25 when he played his 100th first-class game. His maiden triple hundred in his first-class career came in an iconic stand with fellow opener Murali Vijay putting up a mammoth 462 runs for the first wicket partnership against Maharashtra. In IPL, Mukund has been part of the CSK and RCB camp. His blistering form in the domestic season earned him a call-up to the national Test side in 2011. In 7 Tests, Mukund amassed 320 runs with 2 fifties and his highest score of 82 came against Sri Lanka back in 2017.
From being an overnight sensation to fading into the pale shadows of obscurity, the tale of Ajitesh Agral shows how cruel the sport might turn out to be. An unsung hero of the U-19 tournament, Agral’s stellar bowling spell in the rain-hit summit clash was the pivot for India’s triumph as they successfully defended a modest total against the Proteas. The seamer deservedly won the Player of the Match award for his 2 scalps in 5 overs, which remained the biggest highlight of his cricket career. In 2008, he was contracted by KXIP in the IPL. And he later shifted from Bhopal to Baroda for better opportunities in domestic cricket. However, things turned out worse and his dismal run of play cut short a career that could have been a bright story for Indian cricket.
The swashbuckling southpaw was the leading run-scorer of the 2008 U-19 World Cup with 262 runs to his tally. In 90 first-class matches, Srivastava amassed 4918 runs and was the highest run-getter for Uttar Pradesh in the 2008-09 season. In IPL, he represented KXIP and DC. Later in his career, Tanmay shifted o Uttarakhand and led the side. In October 2020, he decided to hang his boots in all forms of competitive cricket at the age of 30. He is currently working in ONGC.
One of the most underrated cricketers of his generation, Abdulla’s street-smart character has outfoxed even the best of the business at times. A sharp left-arm spinner who is handy with the bat too, the Mumbai player’s early exploits earned him a place in 2008’s U-19 WC squad. In IPL, Abdulla was a key member of KKR’s 2012 title-winning team. He was last seen in the marquee league in the colors of RCB.
When the Jharkhand-based aggressive southpaw broke into the scene, many felt that a lefty Dhoni was born. His big-hitting prowess and consistency earned him recognition in his initial days, however, a lot of ups and downs derailed his career majorly. He still remains a crucial campaigner for Jharkhand across all formats in domestic cricket.
In IPL, Tiwary proved to be an extremely profitable buy for MI in the 2010 season, where he smashed 419 runs at a strike rate over 135. However, his purple patch did not last long, and since then has been a part of several other franchises yet has failed to feature in the XI consistently. After playing for RCB, DD, and RPS, the middle-order batter returned to MI in 2020.
Quality left-arm seamers have always been a rarity in India. Thus the likes of Sangwan were the center of a lot of expectations amongst coaches. In the U-19 WC, Sangwan spearheaded the pace attack with the new ball, and the fifer he took against Proteas remains one of the most memorable spells from that tournament. Injuries and a ban on the charges of doping cost Sangwan heavily throughout his career. The Delhi captain remains a lethal medium-fast bowler beating all odds on his way. In IPL, Sangwan has played for DD, KKR, GL and MI. He was a key member in debutant Gujarat Titan’s maiden titular triumph in 2022.
The right-arm pacer from Punjab never shied away from showing his aggression on the field. His skiddy deliveries often outfoxed batters and thus had the caliber of being a premium death over specialist. No wonder, why Kaul was handed over the ball for the last over in the U-19 finals, he stood up to prove his team right. His career lost track after he sustained a long series of injuries.
But his spirit to play got him back each time he got left behind. A dynamic player on the field, the seasoned campaigner continues to perform in the domestic circuit. His hard work eventually paid off when he was selected on the Indian side for the series against Sri Lanka. He also was a part of India’s Asia Cup-winning team in 2017. His IPL journey started with KKR but his stint in the SRH camp saw him at his peak. He currently is a part of RCB.
A flamboyant stroke player and a clinical medium pacer, Kohli was in sensational form in the U-19 World Cup in Malaysia. He ended the tour with 219 runs which included three back-to-back match-winning half-centuries. 2008 truly was an unforgettable year, as he then played for Shane Warne-led RR that won the silverware to be the first-ever IPL champions. But his career soon saw a downslide and soon faded into obscurity. In 2018, Kohli shifted from Punjab to Mizoram. He played as the lone warrior with 373 runs and 8 dismissals and achieved the rare feat of being the leading runscorer as well as the highest wicket-taker for his team.
The Bengal wicket-keeper batter opened the innings alongside Taruwar Kohli in the U-19 World Cup. A proficient glovesman with the potential to score runs briskly, Goswami added up his reputation with performances. The Emerging Player award winner of IPL 2008 soon became one of Bengal’s most credible players in the domestic circuit. But with the likes of Parthiv Patel, Dinesh Karthik, Naman Ojha, and fellow Bengal teammate Wriddhiman Saha waiting in the queue in the Dhoni Era of Indian cricket, Goswami’s aspirations of international cricket were a distant dream.
The Karnataka cricketer took the cricket fraternity by storm with his exquisite strokeplay decorated with unconventional shots. An acrobatic fielder with perhaps one of the safest pair of hands in world cricket, Pandey’s career graph never reached the zenith. With the problem of plenty existing in the national squad, Pandey alongside many faced a continual in-out trial in the XI. Unlike most subcontinent players, the short ball never troubled him and thus he was always ahead in the queue of priority in away tours. He played alongside idol Dravid for RCB in his initial seasons of the IPL, and also recorded his name in the history books as the first Indian to ever hit a ton in the marquee T20 league. The 32-year old however is going through a rough patch as runs from his bat have dried in the past few domestic seasons.
From being the vice-captain of the U-19 WC winning team to becoming one of the world’s best all-rounders across all formats – Sir Jadeja has come a long way. A fierce batter, an incredible fielder, and a lethal spinner, Jadeja’s all-round capabilities always set him apart from others. His talent reaped praises from Aussie legend Shane Warne in his first IPL season itself when the RR captain described his young colt as a Rockstar. Since then, the southpaw never looked back. He became the highest wicket-taker in the 2013 ICC Champion’s Trophy and was thereby instrumental in the team’s road to the trophy.
Most people play the sport, but few define it. When the Delhi prodigy brought the U-19 WC home, it was just a beginning of an era. Arguably the best batsman of his generation, Kohli earned the tag of a chasemaster for his excellence in comfortably chasing massive totals. The run machine succeeded MS Dhoni as India’s skipper first in Tests and subsequently in the limited-overs, and duly carried forward the legacy of Indian cricket. He became the first-ever Asian captain to win a Test series down under.
However post the 2021 ICC WT20, a sudden chain of events took cricket fans by surprise, as Kohli stepped down as captain from T20s and Tests and was removed from leadership in ODIs. The post-pandemic phase has challenged the former Indian skipper as a batter too, as fans eagerly await the King’s return to form in style. So far, Kohli has amassed 23650 runs in international cricket with 70 centuries to his name. The RCB talisman is also the all-time leading runscorer of IPL.