As England and Wales prepare to host the much-anticipated ICC Champions Trophy 2017, here we take a quick look at some of the young talents looking to make a mark at international level.
1. Chris Lynn (Australia)
A striker possessing devastating power-hitting skills, Chris Lynn, is already a phenomenon in T20 cricket and has featured in several leagues around the world but is yet to prove his mettle in 50-over cricket.
Since his T20I debut against England in 2014, the explosive right-hander has not been able to fully justify his talent owing to several shoulder injuries. He has represented Australia in 1 ODI and five T20Is.
2. Babar Azam (Pakistan)
Coming from a family full of cricketers, Babar Azam made his international debut against Zimbabwe in Lahore, scoring 54 off 60 balls in front of a packed stadium. The elegant right-hander has impressed one and all with his sheer quality and consistent run; he scored three consecutive centuries against West Indies, helping his side to a clean sweep.
In a brief time Babar has been able to cement his place in Pakistan’s ODIs and T20Is squads, averaging 50+ in both formats. At 22, he already has 9 Tests, 26 ODIs and 9 T20Is to his name. Pakistan’s Champions Trophy hopes will bank greatly on how well Babar performs in the event.
3. Jasprit Bumrah (India)
In recent years, Bumrah has developed himself into a potent weapon and India’s go-to bowler. While he is yet to prove his skills with the newish ball, he is unarguably the best death overs bowler the country currently have in their ranks. The 23-year-old bowls with an unusual action and has a bag of tricks to dismantle any opposition.
He made his 50-over debut against India in 2016 and, since then, has played 11 ODIs and 24 T20I.
4. Sam Billings (England)
The upcoming CT17 could be a massive opportunity for the young Sam Billing to showcase his potential and make a name for himself. The 25-year-old is among several England players who can hit the ball a long way and also be innovative in their shot selection.
Billings has scored 246 runs in 11 ODIs for England so far, averaging just a shade over 27 — numbers that are bound to improve with time and experience. He has also played 11 T20Is.
5. Kusal Mendis (Sri Lanka)
An impressive right-handed batsman, Kusal Mendis, is a free-flowing, attacking striker with a wide range of shots. The 22-year-old rose to fame after his gritty 176 against Australia — the second highest maiden Test century by a Sri Lankan batsman — and 102 (107) against Bangladesh in ODIs earlier this year.
He has scored 845 runs at an average of just below 37 in 25 ODI matches for Sri Lanka.
6. Mitchell Santner (New Zealand)
A left-handed allrounder, Mitchell Santner has developed himself into a handy cricketer and a regular part of New Zealand limited overs’ line-up. The 25-year-old made his debut against England in 2015 following the retirement of Daniel Vettori as New Zealand searched for another left-arm spin option.
It was his figures of 4 for 11 during the ICC World T20 2016 match against India in Nagpur that boosted his reputation as a specialist left arm spinner and is also more than capable of hitting a long ball.
7. Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh)
A quick, accurate and unusual Mustafizur Rahman has already shown flashes of brilliance in his brief, injury-stricken career, with his best performances being two consecutive five-fors in Bangladesh’s first ever series win over India in 2015. Much like Bumrah, he carries a bag full of tricks and can outfox any opposition on his day.
Apart from appearances in several T20 tournaments around the world, he has played 4 Tests, 18 ODIs and 4 T20Is for Bangladesh.
8. Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)
The youth stars line-up can not complete without Kagiso Rabada. At 21, he has already established himself as an integral part of the South Africa side across all formats. He possesses a glittering array of skills; his ability to swing the ball at searing pace, his accuracy with yorkers, and fiery bouncers make him one of the highly-rated Proteas’ asset.
He has picked up 71 wickets in 11 Tests, 64 in 37 ODIs, and 22 in 16 T20Is for South Africa so far.