When a player is able to make his mark in the ICC Under-19 World Cup, it’s similar to graduating with distinction. If you have a successful campaign and become a talking point in the tournament, and follow this recognition up with performances in your country’s domestic circuit or as modern cricket dictates, in franchise cricket, you can become a mainstay in your national team in a few years.

Ask Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, Ben Stokes, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mujeeb Zadran or even Rishabh Pant to mention just a few.

This year too, the U19 World Cup proved to be a showcase for some of the best young talent in the world. Although this tournament was dubbed as the most competitive in a long time, some teams and players clearly dominated the discourse.

Here’s a look at the breakout stars from the batch of 2022:

Dewald Brevis

Dewald Brevis of South Africa plays a shot as Alex Horton of England keeps during the ICC U19 Men's Cricket World Cup match between England and South Africa at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on January 26, 2022 in Antigua | ICC Media

Nicknamed Baby AB, South Africa’s Dewald Brewis stands first in our list of the players that left a mark in the U19 World Cup. In fact, his was among the very few names that had piqued our interest even before the tournament began. Reasons for comparisons between Brevis and AB de Villiers were clear from the moment we first saw him on our screens against India. There were multiple instances wherein it was clear he has modelled his game around the South African legend. In the course of the tournament, with a magnificent 65 against India, followed by a century against Uganda, a 96 against Ireland, a 97 against England and a sublime 138 against Bangladesh to round his tournament. With 506 runs in the tournament, he finished as the leading run-scorer of the tournament at an average of 84.33 and now holds the record for the most runs in a single edition of the U19 World Cup. He became the Player of the Tournament and it was no surprise considering the gulf between the number of runs he scored and the others. Additionally, South African cricket will have something to look forward to, considering Brevis can also contribute with off-spin when needed.

And yes, watch out for him at the upcoming IPL auction.

Dewald Brevis at U19CWC

Match Batting Bowling
 vs Bangladesh U19 138 0/34
vs Sri Lanka U19 6 1/52
vs England U19 97 2/40
vs Ireland U19 96 0/13
vs Uganda U19 104 2/18
vs India U19 65 2/43

Noor Ahmad

No pressure at all but Afghanistan’s Noor Ahmad has quite some hype swirling around him. Not only must he keep up with the legacy of his nation producing some world-class spinners but also remain consistent with the very performances that made him a talking point in this tournament, much like his ‘hero’ Rashid Khan. He had already been signed up by franchises in several T20 leagues around the world before he played this year’s U19 World Cup, namely the Big Bash League, the Pakistan Super League, Lanka Premier League and Afghanistan’s Shpageeza Cricket League. With 10 wickets at an average of 18.90 in the tournament, he may not be among the top 10 leading wicket-takers but the left-arm wrist spinner, who stands out because of his high-arm, unorthodox action (a near mirror image of Rashid Khan’s), is clearly one to look out for in the future. The two deliveries he bowled in the third-place match against Australia to bring his side back into the match were just glimpses of his talent.

Noor Ahmad at U19CWC

Match Batting Bowling
vs Australia U19 10 2/43
vs England U19 25 2/32
vs Sri Lanka U19 30 1/20
vs Zimbabwe U19 1* 1/30
vs Pakistan U19 29 2/46
vs Papua New Guinea U19 4 2/18

Vicky Ostwal

An effective spinner who can bat a bit is one of the few things that really excites Indian cricket. It’s still early days but if his consistent performances throughout the U19 World Cup are an indicator of his abilities, it is safe to say India will have a proper utility cricketer, in a Ravindra Jadeja-template they relish so much. India have required him to bat only once and while he remained largely untested in the tournament, his bowling abilities were fairly consistent. With 12 wickets in 6 games, the spinner ended the tournament as India’s leading wicket taker. He also became the first Indian bowler to take a five-wicket haul in the U19 World Cup after taking 5/28 against South Africa. Since then, his role has largely been about keeping the middle overs quiet. Another standout performance from him came against Australia in the semi-finals where he registered figures of 3/42. His ability to turn the ball sharp is a facet that could come in handy in subcontinental conditions.

Vicky Ostwal at U19CWC

Matches Batting Bowling
vs England -- 0/31
vs Aust U19 -- 3/42
vs B'desh U19 -- 2/25
vs Uganda U19 -- 1/12
vs Ireland U19 -- 1/22
vs S Africa U19 9 5/28

Yash Dhull

India U19 captain Yash Dhull in the ICC U19 World Cup 2022| Twitter @ICC

It is possible that the Indian captain could have been higher up in the top scorers list had he not missed out two games due to Covid-19 but his performance and leadership in the four matches he played in showed that Yash Dhull has a calm head on his shoulders. With 229 runs in 4 matches at an average of 76.33 in the tournament, the Delhi batter gave glimpses of his sensible approach. He was already called a prodigy before he stepped into the tournament. His 82 against South Africa in India’s opening game at the U19 World Cup, the unbeaten 20 in a tricky run chase against Bangladesh in his comeback match after Covid, and the 110 against Australia in the semi-final assured everyone that the hype around him had substance in it, after all. It must also be noted that Dhull was leading an Indian campaign that was marred with uncertainty, with the management having to dig deep in the middle of the tournament to field a proper XI and for him to bounce back after the illness and the quarantine during his most important challenge of his playing career so far.

Yash Dhull at U19CWC

Match Batting
vs England 17
vs Australia U19 110
vs Bangladesh U19 20*
vs South Africa U19 82

Ravi Kumar

The left-arm pacer was late to the party but he peaked towards the end of the tournament. Firstly, in the quarter-final against Bangladesh where he registered figures 3/14, followed by the semi-finals against Australia where he got an economical 3/14 and saved his best for last, where he registered 4/34 in the U19 World Cup final against England. He ensured England’s most dangerous batters Tom Prest and Jacob Bethell never really settled, giving India an early advantage in the big match. A left-arm pacer that thrives in big matches? It’s a combination that Indian cricket will love. While his role largely revolved around getting the new ball to swing and not letting the openers settle, his strength is largely dependent on his ability to control the ball whilst maintaining a miserly economy rate.

Ravi Kumar at U19CWC

Matches Batting Bowling
vs England U19 -- 4/34
vs Australia U19 -- 2/37
vs Bangladesh U19 -- 3/14
vs Uganda U19 -- 0/6
vs Ireland U19 -- 1/11
vs South Africa U19 0* 0/30

Raj Bawa

India's players clap off Raj Bawa after his five wicket haul during the ICC U19 Men's Cricket World Cup Final match between England and India at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on February 05, 2022 in Antigua| ICC Media

The hero of the U19 World Cup final that powered India to the title. That the all-rounder had a tournament to remember is an understatement. He became only the second Indian to get a five-wicket haul in the tournament with figures 5/31 (best ever figures in a final of this tournament) and then followed it up with an unbeaten 35 when the openers departed early and Shaik Rasheed had been dismissed after guiding the team into a comfortable position. English bowler James Sales had found a rhythm and things could have easily gone downhill for India but Raj Bawa ensured none of that happened as he calmly maneuvered the run-chase. Earlier in the tournament, he also registered the highest individual score by an Indian, with a scintillating 162* against Uganda and picked up four wickets against South Africa in the opening game. His allround abilities make him a rare kind of player. So naturally, as soon as India scored the winning runs in the final, the talk about India’s search for a pace-bowling all-rounder finally coming to an end began too. His Player of the Match heroics were bound to get people excited. And although only time will tell whether the speculation turns into reality, the No.12-wearing, Yuvraj Singh-idolising cricketer’s stocks have certainly gone up ahead of the IPL mega auction.

Raj Bawa at U19CWC

Matches Batting Bowling
vs England U19 35 5/31
vs Australia U19 -- 0/20
vs Bangladesh U19 0 0/16
vs Uganda U19 162* 0/12
vs Ireland U19 42 0/24
vs South Africa U19 13 4/47

Shaik Rasheed

Shaik Rasheed of India plays a shot as Tobias Snell of Australia keeps during the ICC U19 Men's Cricket World Cup Super League Semi Final 2 match between India and Australia at Coolidge Cricket Ground| ICC Media

There is another case to be made for how much higher up he may have ended up in the list of most runs scored in the tournament as he too, was out for a couple of games due to Covid. But India vice-captain Shaik Rasheed is also made of stronger stuff. With 201 runs in 4 games, not only did he display an excellent batting technique throughout the tournament but also demonstrated his ability to thrive in high pressure situations. He was the leading run scorer in the final with his steady half-century and he had also driven India to a successful first innings total against Australia in the semi-final with his 94 off 108, playing the perfect support for Yash Dhull, both in the innings and in leadership. He has already impressed former India chief selector MSK Prasad which bodes well for his prospects in domestic cricket and one can only expect his already stunning batting skills are polished over the years, now that he has graduated from the U19 World Cup with distinction.

Shaik Rasheed at U19CWC

Matches Batting
vs England U19 50
vs Australia U19 94
vs Bangladesh U19 26
vs South Africa U19 31

As mentioned earlier, this was one of the most competitive U19 World Cups in a long time and it made the list harder to complete considering the kind of quality we saw. So here are a few young stars that find a special mention:

Honourable mentions:

Dunith Wellalage - Sri Lanka - Most wickets with 17 wickets in 6 matches and most runs for Sri Lanka with 264 runs in 6 matches

Haseebullah Khan - Pakistan - the second-highest run scorer in the tournament with 380 runs in 6 matches

Tom Prest - England - 154 vs UAE - 292 runs in 6 matches

Joshua Boyden - England - Second in Most wickets with 15 wickets in 6 matches

Angkrish Raghuvanshi - India - Most runs for India with 278 runs in 6 matches

Rajvardhan Hangargekar - India - cameo of 39* vs Ireland and a fast bowler that everyone will have their eye on for his pace.

Teague Wyllie - Australia - tied with Raghuvanshi for 278 runs, the joint fourth-most of the tournament.

Statistics courtesy: ESPNCricinfo