Feature Cricket

2019 CWC: Five Most Impressive Young Guns

Harshit Anand Updated: 6 July, 2019, 3:20 PM IST


In this World Cup, we have seen many young talents blossoming in what is a dream to play for any cricketer- the ICC Cricket World Cup. Youngsters have brought a dash of fresh air, flamboyance, and fearlessness on display. Also, we as observers of the game love seeing the new crop of talents grow and develop, so what better stage than the Cricket World Cup, where the whole world is watching every bits and piece of the game we all love.

Take a look at Five Young Guns who have done well in WC:

Jofra Archer (England)

There's a lot to love about Jofra Archer. Jofra symbolizes coolness. He literally jogs in his run-up but then deliveries thunderbolts. His short, rhythmical approach is the silence before the storm. He doesn't terrify you at the onset like the Akhtars and the Lees. But he makes bowling look like such an art. He breezes through his action. Crashes the stumps with his yorkers, smashes the helmet with bumpers, hits the bails which goes for six but most importantly, picks wickets. The 24 years old has picked up 17 wickets in nine games of the World Cup and has gone under an economy of 5 rpo. He has proved that England did the best thing in the world by fast-tracking him to their squad for the World Cup.

Shaheen Shah Afridi (Pakistan)

Pakistan and Afridi. It just rings a bell. Doesn't it? After all, Shahid Afridi with his audacious stroke-play, charismatic attitude, and match-winning efforts won so many hearts. Times have changed but an Afridi is again shining for Pakistan. This time, it's Shaheeh Shah Afridi. After having struggled to find the right lengths early on, Afridi roared like a king in latter games. The teen sensation, who appeared for Pakistan in last year's Under-19 World Cup graduated to the big stage with a bang and finished with 16 wickets in five games in the World Cup. His six-for against Bangladesh was a record-breaking effort as he became the youngest bowler to take five wickets in a WC game.

Nicholas Pooran (West Indies)

Chris Gayle is so full of himself that if he showers praise on anyone else, it has to be someone extraordinary. A while back, Gayle announced that "Nicholas Pooran is go­ing to be a world record beat­er." He had praised his work ethic and we just saw against Sri Lanka what prompted him to say that as Pooran made one heck of a century, almost closing in on an incredible win against Sri Lanka. Just to imagine that the youngster met a career-threatening car accident in 2015, which took him seven months to walk unassisted, highlights the fighter in Pooran. He had to again learn how to walk but now he is coming up with flying colors. The left-hander finished as top run-getter for his team in the WC with 367 runs at an average of 52.42 and strike-rate of 100.27.

Avishka Fernando (Sri Lanka)

Where was this guy all the while? Well, this has been the question we all have been asking ever since we saw a glimpse of Sri Lanka's 21 years old Avishka Fernando against England. He has been so exciting that even former Sri Lanka captain, Mahela Jayawardene remarked that this youngster has the spark to re-ignite Sri Lankan cricket. Spark is the right word, after all, this Wadduwa-born batsman oozes fearlessness, class, and elegance. You can watch his shots on loop as such is the quality. He has made scores of 49, 30, and 104 in the World Cup so far. Notably, his runs have come at a strike-rate of 107, which makes it all the more impressive. Given the bleak times that Sri Lanka are in, he might well prove to be the renaissance man for Sri Lanka.

Ikram Ali Khil (Afghanistan)

The 18 years old, Ikram Ali Khil was not even supposed to play the World Cup. But, Mohammad Shahzad's injury opened the door for him, to live what everyone dreams of, representing your country in ICC Cricket World Cup. He is not as flamboyant or aggressive as Shahzad but he impressed with his temperament. The southpaw made the world take notice of him when he broke Sachin Tendulkar's 27 years old world record for the highest score by an 18-year-old. The youngster made 86 runs against West Indies bettering Sachin's 84 and looks like a player, who can do great things for Afghanistan, which often struggles for a quality batsman.

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