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ICC U19 World Cup 2024

ICC U19 World Cup 2024 Team Of The Tournament: Rabada clone, Indian middle-order batters make the cut

Published at :February 13, 2024 at 12:38 AM
Modified at :February 13, 2024 at 1:05 AM
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Mrunal Madrisridista

This edition of the extravaganza, like its predecessors, was also high on talent across different departments.

The longstanding tagline of the ICC U19 World Cup is ‘future stars.” True to form the tournament has provided the first glimpse of many of the game’s past greats and current stalwarts. From Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli and Yashasvi Jaiswal in an Indian context to international players like Kagiso Rabada, Mitchell Marsh and Alastair Cook, this event proved a key stepping stone to their eventual success in international cricket.

The 15th edition of the ICC U19 World Cup concluded in South Africa’s Benoni on Sunday with the storied clash between India and Australia, with the Aussies coming out on top by 79 runs. This edition of the extravaganza, like its predecessors, was also high on talent across different departments. This means fans can be assured that the game’s future is in safe hands.

As we embark on the arduous task of picking the Team of the Tournament, it is important to set out that it will seek to strike the balance between tournament performance and the player’s potential for future success at higher levels. Further, as we go through the main XI, we will also pause for some honourable mentions to players who also impressed at different times, but could not make the final cut. It is also worth noting that there was no speed gun at the tournament, so it was not possible to measure the speeds of the various bowlers. 

Here’s the best combined team of the ICC U19 World Cup 2024:

1. Harry Dixon (AUS):

Harry Dixon celebrates after winning the ICC U19 World Cup 2024
Harry Dixon celebrates after winning the ICC U19 World Cup 2024. (Image Source: ICC)

We start things off with the swashbuckling Victorian left-hander Harry Dixon who has all the shots in the book, off both front and back foot. With 309 runs across seven innings at the ICC U19 World Cup 2024, the 18-year-old impressed with his array of strokes to exploit the first powerplay, but also with a more adaptable 50 in the semi-final win over Pakistan and a price 42 in the showpiece against India.

Dixon also snapped up five catches proving that he’s a safe set of hands in the field. The St. Kilda man idolizes David Warner and one can certainly see why. Get ready to see and hear a lot more about this young man who just signed a two-year two-year deal with the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League.

2. Lhuan-dre Pretorius (SA):

Lhuan-dre Pretorius in the ICC U19 World Cup 2024
Lhuan-dre Pretorius in the ICC U19 World Cup 2024. (Image Source: ICC)

Joining Dixon at the top of the order is another southpaw in South Africa’s Lhuan-dre Pretorius. The elegant left-hander has a solid technique against pace and spin as seen by his 287 runs in six innings. His 76 (102) against India in the semis was his best knock of the tournament and helped his team notch up a competitive total.

Pretorius is also a front-line wicket-keeper who affected 12 dismissals for the young Proteas at the event, including eight catches and four run-outs. Overall, he showed himself to be neat and clean with the gloves and showcased a good range of movement behind the stumps.

There’s plenty of upside to the 17-year old, but one aspect he needs to work on is the rotation of strike against spin. Pretorius is already on the books of the Paarl Royals in the SA20 and given his multi-dimensional skills looks set for a bright future in the game. Outside of these two special mentions among openers go to Pretorius’ opening partner Steve Stolk and England captain Ben McKinney.

3. Hugh Weibgen (AUS) (C):

Australia U19 captain Hugh Weibgen
Australia U19 captain Hugh Weibgen. (Image Source: ICC)

Every strong team needs a bankable No. 3 and Queensland man Hugh Weibgen fits the bill perfectly. With 304 runs across seven innings, the classy, organized batter was one of the most consistent performers throughout the tournament and often delivered runs at crucial junctures. His most crucial knock came in a Super 6s game against arch-nemesis England. The Aussies were in some trouble in the game, but it was Weibgen who guided the ship through the choppy waters with an assured 120 (126) adorned with 15 fours.

When looking for what makes Weibgen tick as a batter, be sure not to miss the seamless transfer of weight, rotation of strike and the ability to judge length and adapt footwork instantly. 

The youngster also dons the captain’s armband in this XI. .From a leadership point of view, he was always one step ahead of the game. The teenager employed creative fields and was on point with his bowling rotations, being proactive and not letting the game drift at any time. On the whole, he seemed to be comfortable as a leader and showed himself to be a good reader of play.   

4. Musheer Khan (IND):

Musheer Khan
Musheer Khan. (Image Source: ICC)

With 360 runs in seven matches, Musheer Khan, the brother of Mumbai middle-order batter Sarfaraz Khan, finished as the tournament’s second leading run-scorer, Frankly, his performances only served to further affirm his talent, as he had been earmarked to star well before the event.

Musheer, who made his debut for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy in December 2022, notched up two blistering tons against Nepal and New Zealand, Khan particularly loves to drive in the V and inside out over cover. He has a well-organized defence, but can also hit a long ball. But, the youngster might need some work against the short ball, as evidenced by his dismissal against South Africa in the semis.

The Mumbai lad also bowls some left-arm orthodox and picked up six wickets. What’s more, he’s a gun fielder at point.

5. Uday Saharan (IND) (Vc):

Uday Saharan concluded ICC U19 World Cup 2024 as the highest run-scorer.
Uday Saharan concluded ICC U19 World Cup 2024 as the highest run-scorer.

The India skipper Uday Saharan finished the tournament as the top scorer with nearly 400 runs across seven innings. Saharan came into the event with big raps on him and you could instantly see why. As a batter Saharan is very much in the mould of his Australian counterpart Weibgen. Although he was consistent throughout, it was his knock of 81 (126) in the semis against the hosts that stamped his credentials. Coming in with his side in trouble at 12-2 chasing 245, the Punjab lad steadied the ship in a remarkable 150+ run partnership with teammate Sachin Dhas and was instrumental in eventually guiding his team over the line.  

Equally adept with both vertical and horizontal bat shots, the right-hander looks to play in the V and targets the straight boundaries where possible. As the vice captain of this side, Saharan certainly adds a lot of leadership credentials with his calm demeanour and can be termed to have gotten the most out of an otherwise unremarkable Indian bowling attack. Among others batters also keep a watch on New Zealand’s Snehith Reddy who notched up 147* against Nepal and England’s Hamza Shaikh.

6. Jewel Andrew (WI) (Wk):

West Indies' Jewel Andrew in the ICC U19 World Cup 2024
West Indies’ Jewel Andrew in the ICC U19 World Cup 2024. (Image Source: ICC)

Although Lhuan-dre Pretorius can, it’s West Indies’ Jewel Andrew who takes the gloves in this team. At this level, these young men are defined as much by the stories that shape them as by their performances on the field. In that  respect, the story of Antigua’s Jewel Andrew is truly inspirational. Raised by a single mother, his steely eyes reflect the struggles his journey has traversed . But, his performances paint the picture of a determined young man primed to get to the very top of our great game.  

The wicket-keeper batter started the tournament on fire with 130 (96) and 64* against South Africa and Scotland respectively. Behind the stumps he was agile and relatively clean with his collection. However, what made him standout was his keeping against spin, especially the ability to stay low against the turning ball. Jewel finished the tournament with 207 runs, five catches and a stumping.

7. Nathan Edward (WI):

Nathan Edward of West Indies in the ICC U19 World Cup 2024
Nathan Edward of West Indies in the ICC U19 World Cup 2024. (Image Source: ICC)

With 101 runs and 11 wickets across five matches Nathan Edward from the Leeward Islands was one of the best all-rounders on show at the tournament. He impressed as a canny pace bowler with his clever deception and variations of pace. What’s more, he held his own as a left-handed batter, stitching together valuable partnerships with the late order.

The 49* (80) against England in a pool game was one of his most crucial contributions with the bat. But, it is perhaps more poignant to note that he also took 3-26 and collected two catches in the same match to underline his all-round credentials.  

8. Callum Vidler (AUS):

Callum Vidler
Callum Vidler. (Image Source: ICC)

The Australian pace quartet also featuring Mahli Beardman, Tom Straker and Charlie Anderson were all impressive. But, it’s the fourth person in the quartet who gets our pick. The name is Callum Vidler. With 14 wickets in six matches, the tall Queenslander was the leader of the Aussie attack and it’s a role he embraced wholeheartedly.

Vidler has a wiry build, easy action and gets through the crease smoothly, all attributes you look for in the making of a good, durable quick. As they say, he’s one of those who generates easy pace. His most impressive outing was the spell of 4-29 against England. Lookout for this young prodigy who is already coming through the ranks at reigning BBL champions the Brisbane Heat.

9. Kwena Maphaka (SA):

Kwena Maphaka concluded ICC U19 World Cup 2024 as the highest wicket-taker.
Kwena Maphaka concluded ICC U19 World Cup 2024 as the highest wicket-taker.

Imagine a Kagiso Rabada clone, only one who bowls left-arm. Wollah, here’s introducing Kwena Maphaka. This was actually the 17-year-old’s second ICC Men’s U-19 World Cup, with him also having been part of the previous edition in the Caribbean. Maphaka had shown glimpses of his potential then, but truly owned the stage at home.

With 21 wickets in six matches, Maphaka matched the mark for the most wickets in any single  edition of the tournament. The tearaway quick has a stocky build and an easy, repeatable action. What’s more, at 17 he still has a lot of growing to do in body and mind. 

However, what impressed most about the speedster was his intelligence and control over his variations. This was well witnessed by his dismissal of a well set Sachin Dhas in the semi-final. Maphaka trapped the Maharashtra batter with a slower sucker ball hung out on the drive and had him caught at cover, playing way too early to a ball that never quite arrived.

10. Ali Raza (PAK):

Ali Raza Pakistan U19
Ali Raza in the ICC U19 World Cup 2024. (Image Source: ICC)

At 15, the Pakistan gun is the youngster player in this team. Although his other older teammates played more matches and took more wickets during the tournament, he makes the cut for his raw potential and a lionhearted attitude.

A nonstop tries who puts everything behind each ball, it’s his spirit which will make anyone a fan. A quick who gathers pace through his run up and the jump in at the crease, Raza is very raw and needs to be managed well. But, with nine wickets in just three matches, he has certainly ensured that you’ll see him back on this stage in two years’ time, whatever else happens. 

His best display of 4-34 came in the semi-final against Australia, where he single-handedly dragged his team to the brink of an unlikely win defending a paltry score of 180. Also worth keeping a watch on is Ubaid Shah, the brother of Pakistan quick Naseem Shah, who scalped 18 wickets in six matches.

11. Tazeem Ali (ENG):

Tanzeem Ali
Tanzeem Ali registered the best bowling figures of ICC U19 World Cup 2024 – 7/29 against Zimbabwe U19. (Image Source: ICC)

England’s newfound propensity to produce quality spinners is set to continue. For, behind the current senior internationals of Adil Rahid, Tom Harley and Rehan Ahmed, we have the impressive Tazeem Ali coming through the ranks.

Ali snapped up an amazing 14 wickets in just four matches to run rings around opposition batters. He has a ripping leg break and impressive control over his stop delivery. He’s a traditional spinner who relies on beating the batter through his flight and dip. Warwickshire Bear Ali has already played a few white-ball games in the domestic circuit and his performances at the tournament are sure to accelerate his progress to the higher levels. 

Also worth mentioning are England’s Farhan Ahmed, West Indies’ Nathan Sealy and Zimbabwe’s Ryan Simbi.

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