Lucknow: Indian under-19 skipper Ishan Kishan may have got the lucrative contract from IOS, a leading sports and entertainment management company but diminutive Sarfaraz Khan was perhaps the only take away from recently concluded junior cricket world cup tournament.
Eighteen year-old Sarfaraz, who scored five fifties in six outings in U-19 Cricket WC, enhanced his reputation further playing a role of anchor in most of the matches he played.
Never before the junior cricket has been in the limelight, thanks to plenty of cricket played these days. Many current crop of Team India players including Virat Kohli were picked directly after the U-19 tournaments and similar hype was attached to this team as well.
It was Indian colts' victory in 2000 edition on junior WC, when Mohd Kaif and Yuvraj Singh followed by Peeyush Chawla made it to the senior side. Later Virat Kohli and Unmukt Chand also showed potential though the latter has yet to realise his potential.
Prior to this, Sarfaraz, hailing from Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh, was nurtured and coached under the guidance of his father Naushad Khan in Mumbai. Scoring heavily at the sub-junior and junior level, he was drafted into Mumbai Ranji side but later shifted to UP and so far played six first class matches with 155 as his highest in Ranji Trophy.
His brisk batting in the last IPL for Royal Challengers saw him catching the attention of senior players and he remains the players to watch in the future.
One down batsman Anmolpreet Singh , medium pacer Avesh Khan and spinners Mayank Dagar and Zeeshan also show the great potential but consistency and the tenacity in the modern day cricket will hold a key for them.
Rishabh Pant, the wicket-keeper batsman, credited with the fastest fifty, and Ishan Kishan have been the moderate success in the U-19 World Cup but since they already in Ranji teams, they have plenty of opportunities to make it big.