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Ambidextrous spinner in Aust U-19 WC squad

Nivethan Radhakrishnan has already experienced the IPL, now the ambidextrous spinner has a chance to help Australia win an under-19 World Cup.

Radhakrishnan, the only known ambidextrous cricketer in Australia’s junior talent pathways, has been included in a 15-player squad for next month’s tournament in the West Indies.

The young tweaker was a net bowler for Delhi Capitals in the first phase of this year’s IPL, giving him a chance to rub shoulders with Ricky Ponting, Steve Smith and other idols.

The 19-year-old was offered a rookie contract by both NSW and Tasmania this season, preferring to join the latter.

Radhakrishnan, whose family emigrated from India to Sydney in 2013, has previously represented Australia at under-16 level.

It was Radhakrishnan’s father who first encouraged him to try bowling finger spin with both hands.

“I was like: ‘well, why not?’ There’s no fear of failure in my game,” Radhakrishnan told ESPNcricinfo earlier this year.

“If I don’t care what people think about me and don’t care about failing, what limit is there to what I can achieve?”

Australia haven’t won the men’s U-19 World Cup since 2010, when Mitch Marsh captained a squad featuring Josh Hazlewood, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson and Nic Maddinson.

The current squad will assemble in Melbourne for a training camp from December 28.

Australia’s campaign begins on January 14 with a match against the hosts in Guyana.

Perth Scorchers allrounder Cooper Connolly will take part in his second U-19 World Cup.

Fast bowler Jack Nisbet, who holds a rookie contract with NSW, and Queenslander Jackson Sinfield are some of the other notable emerging stars in the squad.

“It was a challenging selection process,” Cricket Australia’s head of development Graham Manou said.

“There were difficult selection decisions.

“But we will continue to support and monitor the development of all players in our pathway systems.”

Australia’s under-19 men’s World Cup squad: Harkirat Bajwa, Aidan Cahill, Cooper Connolly, Joshua Garner, Isaac Higgins, Campbell Kellaway, Corey Miller, Jack Nisbet, Nivethan Radhakrishnan, William Salzmann, Lachlan Shaw, Jackson Sinfield, Tobias Snell, Tom Whitney, Teague Wyllie.

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