Guest Post By Imran Aslam
I wanted to compare how Pakistan and India have done in grooming their young and upcoming stars over the past few years and a good indication of this would be performances in Under-19 World Cups and the number of players from the under-19 teams who have become regular international performers.
Starting from 2000, here is a snapshot of the performances of India and Pakistan in the Under-19 WCs:
2000: India won and Pakistan lost in the Semi Final
2002: India lost Semi Final and Pakistan did not quality for Semi Final
2004: Pakistan Won and Beat India in the Semi Final
2006: Pakistan Won and Beat India in the Final
2008: Pakistan lost in the Semi Final and India won the tournament
2010: Pakistan lost final to Australia and India lost in the Quarter Finals
Based on this, Pakistan has had a very strong Under-19 team from 2004 till 2010 and theoretically we should have seen a big chunk of players from these sides coming into the senior team and performing now as they should be in 23-30 age bracket. However, when we look at the names who made themselves regulars in the Pakistan side the picture is quite different. Here's a list of the players from each Under-19 World Cup who have gone on to be regular features of the senior side:
2000: Shoaib Malik, Danish Kaneria, Imran Farhat, Taufeeq Umar, Imran Nazir, Yasir Arafat, and Mohammad Sami
2002: Salman Butt, Azhar Ali, Yasir Arafat, and Umar Gul
2004: Fawad Alam, Zulqarnain Haider, Wahab Riaz
2006: Nasir Jamshed
2008: Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan and Umar Akmal
2010: Ahmed Shehzad
So from the 2000/2002 teams which did not do as well as the later teams we had 10 players going on to become regulars in the side over the past 3-4 years with 5 of them still part of the regular Pakistan squads today! From the 2004 to 2010 teams there are ONLY THREE players (Wahab, Jamshed and Junaid) who are today part of Paksitan's first choice squads and only 8 players who have been some sort of regulars in the Pakistan team over the past 3-4 years.
Now lets compare this to Inida:
2000: Mohammad Kaif and Yuvraj Singh
2002: Parthiv Patel and Irfan Pathan
2004: Robin Uthappa, Suresh Raina, Shikhar Dhawan and Dinesh Karthik
2006: Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja
2008: Virat Kohli, and Ravindra Jadeja
2010: No one
Unlike Pakistan, India has had and currently has far more players from the 2004-2008 teams as regulars in the squads over the past few years and had 6 players (Raina, Dhawan, Karthik, Sharma, Jadeja and Kohli) from the 2004-2008 teams in their playing XI for the champions trophy! The stars of 2000 and 2002 who played key roles for India are now all sidelines whereas we are stuck with our previous generation!
This very clearly highlights how Pakistan has mismanaged grooming their young stars and making them into regular performers in the senior side, something which India has done very well and it has translated into results for them. If our Under-19 team from 2004 to 2010 was among the best junior sides around, our team today should have been among the top sides around if the talent had been properly groomed and nurtured.