Divyaansh Saxena: Unsung Talent From The 2020 U-19 World Cup
In the 2020 U-19 World Cup, there were many talents like Ravi Bishnoi, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Priyam Garg, Tilak Varma and Karthik Tyagi who came into the limelight as they were picked for the IPL. The leg spinner even made his debut for the senior team. There was a certain player who contributed to the team’s success as well but due to unfortunate circumstances, he couldn’t get the deserved platform. His name is Divyaansh Saxena.
Divyaansh had a very good U-19 World Cup campaign. Opening alongside Jaiswal, the southpaws had crucial opening partnerships throughout the tournament. Saxena managed to score a total of 150 runs at an average of 50. He had two half centuries to his name against New Zealand and India’s arch rivals Pakistan. In those innings, he stayed not out. Even though India ended second best, he showed his class and style throughout the tournament.
Even before the world cup, the opener had performed immensely. Before getting picked for the Indian side, he already was on the doors knocking. In the Cooch Behar trophy, Saxena scored a whopping 781 runs in 8 games averaging 55.80. His highlight of the tournament being the 212 against Delhi. He also troubled the UP bowlers, scoring 102 in the first innings and 94 in the second, missing a century by just 6 runs. There were a couple of half centuries as well. These performances were more than enough for a maiden India U-19 call up.
In his debut game against South Africa in the U-19 Youth Test Series, he rose to the occasion by scoring 122. The stylish southpaw had an astonishing tri series in England as well. At an impressive average of 53, he scored 321 runs in 6 games. England U-19 had a tough time against him as he scored a hundred and a fifty against them.
Back from international duty, Divyaansh also had an exceptional Vinoo Mankad campaign scoring 450 runs in 10 one day games. With three half centuries and a century against Tamil Nadu, his bat was doing all the talking for him. The opener had a decent time with the ball as well picking up 10 wickets in the tournament. His outstanding and consistent performances booked his birth for the U-19 World Cup.
Unfortunately, the disastrous coronavirus outbreak halted every cricketer’s journey and Divyaansh faced the same problem. Post the first lockdown, Saxena lost time but his performances were still up to the mark. At the club level, Divyaansh scored immensely; 108*, 95, 75* and more, right before the U-25 One Dayers. Parachuted in the knockout stages of the tournament, the lefty made 76 off 91 against Karnataka U-25.
In the selection games for the U-25 Col C.K Nayudu Trophy, Divyaansh made 178 off 245 in the first game and almost run-a-ball 65 in the second game. He was selected for C.K Nayudu Trophy and scored another ton against the Karnataka U-25. Mumbai won the 2022 Col C.K Nayudu Trophy.
For a few months now, Divyaansh Saxena has been working under the well known coach Jwala Singh. Due to Coach Singh’s guidance and advice Divyaansh has grown. During his grassroot years, Saxena used to practice at the Dilip Vengsarkar Foundation Academy. He was well supported by the ex-India captain himself as well. Since March 2022, Divyansh has been training under the watchful eyes of Jwala Singh. Coach Singh is one of the top coaches in the country. Saxena’s World Cup opener partner and current Rajasthan Royals player Yashaswi Jaiswal was coached by Jwala Singh itself. Jaiswal credits his success to Coach Singh. Another name under Jwala Singh was the explosive opener, Prithvi Shaw. Singh is known to change fortunes and since this is a crucial period for Saxena, the youngster has joined him for advanced mentoring.
He currently is in Devon playing the Tolchards Devon Cricket League. Divyaansh is yet again performing at a high level. Playing in the Premier Division, in 10 games so far, the southpaw is the leading scorer with 618 runs with three centuries (103*, 108* & 162) and two half centuries (58 & 7) with a strike rate of 104.22 averaging 77.25. Again, his bowling contributions also have been decent as he picked up 13 wickets in 10 games at an impressive economy rate of 3.45.
With so many brilliant performances, Divyaansh is yet to make his Ranji Trophy debut for the prestigious Mumbai state. His efforts and hardwork have been slightly unnoticed but definitely not in vain.
His commendable performances will be rewarded.