U-19 World Cup final preview: Will it be title no. 4 for Dravid's boys or can unheralded West Indies cause upset?

hidden, Feb, 13 2016

Mirpur: A seemingly invincible India are primed to win an unprecedented fourth ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup when they take on a wily West Indies in the final on Sunday.

India breezed into their fifth final under the precious guidance of coach Rahul Dravid, steamrolling their opponents in the three league games as well as in the knock-outs.

File image of India Under-19 team. Getty

File image of India Under-19 team. Getty

If they win on Sunday, India will surpass Australia for the most number of titles in the U-19 showpiece event introduced way back in 1988. The sub-continent team last lifted the trophy in 2012 after winning it in 2008 and 2000.

The Indians seem unstoppable but they can't afford to take it easy against the West Indians, who have upped their game as the tournament progressed. The boys from Caribbean finished second in their group before earning plaudits with a spirited showing against Pakistan and Bangladesh in the quarters and semifinals respectively.

India will once again bank on their dangerous opening duo of Rishabh Pant and captain Ishan Kishan to give them a flying start.

Kishan, who has only one fifty to his name in five innings, would love to be amongst the runs in the big final. Another IPL recruit, Pant, too, would be itching to rise to the occasion after getting out cheaply against Sri Lanka in the semifinals.

Anmolpreet Singh would be high on confidence after making a crucial 72 against Sri Lanka and so would be power hitter Sarfaraz Khan, who is India's leading run-getter in the competition with 304 runs at an average of 76, including four fifties in five games.

Pacer Avesh Khan, with 11 scalps, has taken the most number of wickets for the team while left-arm spinner Mayank Dagar, too, has impressed with eight wickets from four matches at an average of 12.

The West Indies know they have their task cut out ahead of their second tournament final, having finished runners-up to Pakistan in 2004.

The Indian bowlers will have to find a way to stop Shamar Springer, who has been the most impressive West Indies batsman with 282 runs at 70.50. The all-rounder came up with handy knocks of 37 and 62 not out to take his team home in the knock-outs. Their standout bowler has been pacer Alzarri Joseph, who has taken 10 wickets at an average of 14.

Squads:

India: Ishan Kishan (captain), , Rishabh Pant (vice-capt), Khaleel Ahmed, Zeeshan Ansari, Rahul Batham, Ricky Bhui, Mayank Dagar, Armaan Jaffer, Sarfaraz Khan, Amandeep Khare, Avesh Khan, Mahipal Lomror, Shubham Mavi, Anmolpreet Singh, Washington Sundar.

West Indies: Shimron Hetmyer (captain), Shahid Crooks, Keacy Carty, Michael Frew, Jyd Goolie, Chemar Holder Tevin Imlach, Alzarri Joseph, Ryan John, Kirstan Kallicharan, Gidron Pope, Keemo Paul, Odean Smith, Shamar Springer, Emmanuel Stewart.

PTI

Published Date: Feb 13, 2016 | Updated Date: Feb 13, 2016



Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4097 105
4 Australia 3087 100
5 New Zealand 3114 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 4717 115
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115