India registered comprehensive victories against Sri Lanka (by 90 runs) and Japan (by 10 wickets) before a rain-shortened game against New Zealand tested them to some extent. Even against the Kiwis, however, they won by 44 runs by virtue of the DLS method and finished on top of Group B.
With three wins on the trot, the Indian colts will definitely step into Super League quarter-finals high on confidence, but in Australia, they have an equally strong opposition to run past.
So far, the standout performer for India has been Ravi Bishnoi, who was bought by the Kings XI Punjab for Rs 2 crore in the IPL auction. The leg-spinner has been India’s go-to bowler in the World Cup so far and picked up 10 wickets from three matches, at an average of 7.90.
Meanwhile, for Australia, the star performer has also been a leg-spinner —Tanveer Sangha. Sangha picked up four big scalps in the match against West Indies and then went on to run through Nigeria's batting with a spell of 10-4-14-5. Against England, he picked up just one wicket but conceded runs at an economy rate of 5.
It could well be a battle of who has the better spinner when India take on Australia in the quarter-final. Watch out!
Previously, the Indian colts have squared off against their Aussie counterparts in five editions of the U-19 World Cup (1988, 1998, 2000, 2012, and 2018) and managed to trump them on three occasions. Senior side or junior, India vs Australia is one of the fiercest rivalries on the cricketing field. So, here we look at all their previous clashes along with the standout performers from those:
2018 U-19 World Cup
India’s young guns thrashed their Aussie counterparts by eight wickets in their last U-19 World Cup clash. The stakes could not have been higher as it was the final match of the tournament.
After winning the toss and opting to bat first, Australia posted 216 on the board, with J Merlo top-scoring with 76. Anukul Roy, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shiva Singh and Ishan Porel pitched in with two scalps each at an economy rate of less than six per over. In reply, India lost only two wickets and chased down the target quite comfortably, courtesy Manjot Kalra, who was adjudged the Player of the Match.
Left-handed Manjot struck an unbeaten 101, a knock that was studded with eight fours and three maximums, to take his side home.
2012 U-19 World Cup
Before 2018, the two sides had also clashed in the final of the 2012 edition, wherein, once again, Australia had to settle for a defeat.
Winning the toss, India elected to bowl first. The clash saw Australia set a target of 226 before the hosts, courtesy skipper William Bosisto, who was unbeaten on 87. Sandeep Sharma was the pick of the bowlers and picked up four wickets, with 5.40 as his economy rate.
Among the Indians as well, it was their skipper Unmukt Chand who stepped up to the challenge. Alongside Smit Patel, who was unbeaten on 62, the stylish right-hander smacked an unbeaten 111, a knock laced with six sixes and seven fours, to help his side beat Australia by six wickets. Chand was also adjudged the Man of the Match for his heroics with the bat.
2000 U-19 World Cup
India squared off against Australia in the semi-final of the 2000 U-19 World Cup and won the contest by a comprehensive margin of 170 runs.
Opting to bat first, India finished their innings at 284/6, with contributions from Manish Sharma (65), Yuvraj Singh (58), and the most notable one by opener Ravneet Ricky (108). Ricky smashed 14 fours during his stay at the crease.
Later, India were clinical in the bowling department and bundled out the Aussies for 170 runs as none of their batsmen were able to cross the fifty-run mark. The pick of the Indian bowlers was Anup Dave, who scalped three wickets and conceded only 25 runs from his eight overs.
Ravneet’s heroics helped India reach the finals of the tournament where they beat Sri Lanka by six wickets, thereby clinching their first U-19 title.
1998 U-19 World Cup
India suffered a six-wicket defeat at the hands of Australia in the 1998 edition of the Under 19 World Cup in South Africa.
Opting to bat first, India were bundled out for 174, with Mohammad Kaif (60) and Shibsagar Singh doing the bulk of the scoring. After a good bowling performance from Steven Busbridge and James Hopes, who picked up two wickets each at an economy rate of 2.62 and 2.75 respectively, the Aussie batsmen chased down India’s total in merely 29.3 overs.
While they did lose four wickets in the chase, it was Hopes, this time in the batting department, who took Australia home with a 51-run knock which included seven fours and a maximum.
1988 U-19 World Cup
Australia outclassed India by seven wickets when the two sides locked horns with each other in the first-ever U-19 World Cup in 1988.
Electing to field first, Australia contained India to 132 as Nayan Mongia top-scored with a 46-run knock. It was Brian McFayden who gave major headaches to the Indian batting lineup, picking up four wickets from his eight overs and conceding runs at an impressive economy rate of 2.50.
In reply, Australia comfortably chased down India’s total with over 10 overs to spare. While they lost three wickets during the chase, Stuart Law looked impressive during his unbeaten 72-run knock that eventually took his side home.
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