India have always had a huge talent pool at the junior level when it comes to cricket. India U19 are the most successful team in the history of ICC Under 19 World Cup with four titles to their name. All of them came courtesy of India U19 World Cup captains. Australia are on the second spot with three titles to their name. India U19 World Cup captains have played a key role in their team winning a trophy.
Prithvi Shaw led the Indian U-19 team to glory for a record fourth time in New Zealand in 2018. Prithvi Shaw was also among the leading run-scorers in the tournament as he amassed 261 runs in six games at an average of 65.25. It didn’t take Shaw long to earn a senior team call-up afterwards. He was named in the Indian squad for the Test series against West Indies in October 2018.
He made his Test debut straightaway and justified his selection with a hundred in his very first innings. He scored 237 runs in his debut series and consolidated his place as the first-choice opener in the Indian Test team. He was all set to open for India in the next series against Australia. However, Shaw suffered an injury in the warm-up game which ruled him out for a few weeks. Post the injury, the right-hander was handed an 8-month ban for doping violations. He is currently a part of the Indian team that is playing New Zealand in a three-match ODI series.
Among all the India U19 World Cup-winning captains, Unmukt Chand is the only one who has not gone on to play for the senior team yet. He had played a match-winning knock (111 off 130 balls) for India in the final of the tournament which took place in Australia. Unmukt Chand has had a decent first-class career ever since. He has scored 3235 runs in 62 first-class games at an average of 33.35 with eight hundreds to his name. Unfortunately for him, this not been deemed good enough by the senior team selectors to give him a call-up. Unmukt Chand emerged from the junior ranks of Delhi cricket, but has now made a move to the neighbouring state of Uttarakhand and is currently the captain of the state's Ranji Trophy team.
Another name in the list of India U19 captains list is Virat Kohli who led the Men in Blue to an U-19 World Cup triumph with his inspiring leadership in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He was the second-highest run-scorer for India as he scored 235 runs in six games at an average of 47.00 and a strike rate of 94.75.
Virat Kohli has since made rapid strides. He made his international debut at the senior level the very same year and has become arguably the world's best batsman in recent times. Virat Kohli has scored more than 20,000 runs in international cricket across all formats, with 70 hundreds and 104 fifties to his name. He is currently the captain of the Indian side in all three formats.
The first name in the India U19 captains list who led India U19 to glory is Mohammad Kaif. Subsequently, he went on to represent India for a considerable period of time. Although he didn’t have a very impressive Test career, he was a vital cog in the Indian ODI side from 2002 to 2006. Kaif’s most significant contribution for India was his innings of 87 in the final of the 2002 Natwest Trophy against England. He played a pivotal role (along with Yuvraj Singh) as India snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. He retired in July 2018 and is currently a television commentator. He is also serving as an assistant coach for the IPL franchise Delhi Capitals.