Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi and Manjot Kalra. These are few names who played a vital part in India’s glorious Under-19 campaign in 2018 when they clinched the title by defeating Australia in the final in Mount Maunganui. All these guys made the next big jump when they were selected in the 2018 Indian Premier League. Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw made an impression for Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils respectively while Shivam Mavi made an impression for Kolkata Knight Riders. Kamlesh Nagarkoti, though, was injured and could not play in the tournament while Manjot Kalra remained on the fringes of the Daredevils side.
In 2019, Nagarkoti and Mavi could not feature in the two-time IPL champions squad due to injuries but in the Delhi Capitals vs Kolkata Knight Riders IPL 2019 clash at the Feroz Shah Kotla, a reunion was once again witnessed between Shaw and Gill. Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Capitals are the only two sides that have taken the bulk of the India Under-19 stars in their line-up. In the previous encounter between the two sides in 2018 at the Kotla, Shaw got the better of Gill with the India Under-19 captain scoring 62 off 44 balls while Gill scored just 37 off 29 balls as Kolkata Knight Riders lost by 55 runs to the Delhi Daredevils.
Now, with the name of the Delhi franchise changing from Delhi Daredevils to Delhi Capitals, the stage is set for a resumption of the battle between the Under-19 stars. There is an added incentive for both players. Gill made his debut in the series in New Zealand while Shaw had a stellar debut for the Indian cricket team by scoring a century on Test debut against West Indies. A solid performance from either Shaw or Gill could potentially fetch them a ticket to the Indian squad for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 which will be held in England.
Gill and Shaw have already shown their mettle in domestic cricket, Shaw more so. Shubman has been in fine form ever since the World Cup in New Zealand and although he did not do well on debut in New Zealand, he has displayed his class in IPL 2019, having finished a close game against Sunrisers Hyderabad with two sixes.
The battle between Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders is important, but it is a contest between two of the next-generation talents for Indian cricket.