From Paes to Sachin: Indians who made their presence felt before turning 17

The FIFA U-17 World Cup began in New Delhi on October 6, with India giving a good account of themselves despite a 3-0 loss to the United States of America in their opener.

Here is a look at Indian sportspersons who announced their arrival on the international stage before they turned 17:

Leander Paes (tennis)

Where was he at 17?

Leander Paes was three months shy of turning 17 when he made his Davis Cup debut for India in a home tie against Japan in March 1990, partnering current India coach Zeeshan Ali to clinch the doubles rubber in five sets against Shuzo Matsuoka and Shigeru Ota in Chandigarh. That July, Paes emulated the father-son duo of Ramanathan Krishnan and Ramesh Krishnan to lift the Wimbledon boys' singles title, beating South Africa's Marcos Ondruska in the final.

Paes then matched Ramesh's feat of winning a second Grand Slam junior singles title, beating Karim Alami of Morocco at the 1991 US Open while still only 18. Till date, the Krishnans and Paes are three of only four Indians to have picked up a junior singles title at the Slams -- Yuki Bhambri emulated them at the 2009 Australian Open.

What happened next?

Paes went on to become one of the best doubles players of his generation, winning eight Grand Slam titles in men's doubles and 10 majors in mixed doubles, with the most recent of those Slams coming at the French Open last year with Martina Hingis. Paes has completed a Career Grand Slam - winning each of the four majors at least once - in doubles and mixed doubles.

Paes' 42 career wins in doubles in Davis Cup history is the joint-highest - with Italy's Nicola Pietrangeli - by any tennis player, and he also won India's first individual Olympic medal in 44 years with a bronze at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Sachin Tendulkar (cricket)

Where was he at 17?

Sachin Tendulkar made his debut for India on a demanding away tour to Pakistan when he was about 16 years and seven months old. In February 1990, he came within 12 days of breaking the world record for the youngest Test centurion, held then by Pakistan's Mushtaq Mohammad, who had achieved the feat at 17 years and 78 days in Delhi in 1961, before his future India coach John Wright caught him off the bowling of Danny Morrison in Napier, New Zealand.

Tendulkar got his first international century six months later, a match-saving 119 not out against England at Old Trafford, Manchester. At 17 years and 107 days he remains the youngest Indian and third youngest overall to have scored a Test hundred.

What happened next?

Tendulkar called time on his international career in November 2013, 24 years after his first series against a formidable Pakistan team, with most batting records against his name, including that of becoming the first man to have played 200 Test matches in the process. The most remarkable of those, which will take considerable effort to beat, is the 100 international hundreds against his name -- 51 of them in Tests and 49 in One-day Internationals.

Rani Rampal (hockey)

Where was she at 17?

Forward Rani was fast-tracked into Indian hockey, making her debut in 2009, when she was a few months shy of 15. She played her first World Cup in Rosario, Argentina in 2010 at 15, and scored in five out of India's six matches, as the team finished ninth in their best showing in 32 years. Rani's performance -- her seven goals were bettered only by Maartje Paumen from runners-up Netherlands -- earned her the award for young player of the tournament.

At the junior World Cup in Monchengladbach, Germany in 2013, she was adjudged the player of the tournament as India took bronze in their only podium finish so far in junior women's hockey.

What happened next?

At 22, Rani is not just an India regular, but has lately been appointed captain for almost all of India's international engagements. With 99 goals from 186 international appearances, she helped India qualify for their first appearance at the Olympics in 36 years last year, and is hoping to lead them back to the World Cup after an eight-year gap in London next summer.

Viswanathan Anand (chess)

Where was he at 17?

Anand was 17 when he became the first Indian to win the junior World Chess Championship, a tournament open to anybody under 20 years, in Baguio City, Philippines, in 1987. Anand was one of 14 International Masters (IM) in a 52-strong field that included two Grand Masters (GM), and beat European junior champion Vassily Ivanchuk of the erstwhile Soviet Union to the title, offering a glimpse of bigger things to come in a storied career over the next three decades. Since Anand's win in 1987, India have had five more junior world chess champions, including three in women's chess.

What happened next?

Anand, who was the youngest Indian to win an IM norm, was also the first Indian GM at the age of 18 the following year. He won his first FIDE World Championship in 2000, becoming the first Asian to do so. In 2007, the World Championship in Mexico City was the first since the rival PCA, set up by Garry Kasparov, had merged with FIDE, and Anand beat Vladimir Kramnik and Boris Gelfand to become the first unified World Champion. Anand's impact on the popularity of the game in India has been his greatest legacy, evident with the early success of someone like Parimarjan Negi, who won his GM norm at the age of 13 in 2006, a record for an Indian.

Abhinav Bindra (shooting)

Where was he at 17?

The youngest member of India's 2000 Olympics contingent, Bindra was 10 days short of turning 18 when his favoured 10m air rifle event took place in Sydney. In qualification, only nine competitors scored higher than Bindra's 590, which included a perfect score of 100 in the fifth of six rounds. Bindra missed out on qualification for the final by just two points, though, as even 591 would have meant his sixth-round score of 98 would have seen him miss out to Nedzad Fazlija of Bosnia-Herzegovina despite being level on points. Eventual champion Cai Yalin of China finished with 594 in qualification.

What happened next?

Bindra went on to appear at four further Olympics, making the final in 2004 and 2016. His best performance brought India its first and so far only individual gold medal, at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. In 2006, he became the first Indian to win a gold at the World Championships, and also won at least one gold medal at each edition of the Commonwealth Games between 2002 in Manchester and 2014 in Glasgow.