India will face off against Australia in the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup Final to be held on Saturday. The team will go into the match with a good degree of confidence. It had defeated Australia in their tournament opener on 14 January and crushed Pakistan in the semi-final on 30 January.
Three-time title winners India go into the final match as firm favourites under the guidance of former Test captain Rahul Dravid, who is the team coach.
So, who’ll be the star of the match in the U-19 Cricket World Cup Final? We’ll know that for sure once the match progresses, but here are some candidates to keep an eye out for.
The Mumbai batting sensation had a terrific domestic season before heading out to New Zealand for the tournament. The 18-year-old Mumbai batsman, who made his first-class debut in January 2017, already has five centuries and three half-centuries in the eight matches he has played so far.
The captain has done his bit to help his team saunter into the U-19 Cricket World Cup Final. A solid opening batsman, he has scores of 94 (vs Australia); 57* (vs Papua New Guinea); 40 (vs Bangladesh) and 41 (vs Pakistan).
Kamlesh Nagarkoti has impressed with speeds hitting the 145 kmph range on a regular basis. West Indian fast bowling great Ian Bishop, who is part of the commentary team for the tournament, had commented on his ability to stick to a great line and length even while bowling at such pace. He took 3-29 in the opening match against Australia and added four more to his name in the subsequent matches.
The Punjab batsman has had an impressive run at the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup with scores of 63, 90*, 86 and 102. His century was particularly remarkable, coming as it did in the semi-finals against Pakistan.
Gill is the third-highest scorer in the tournament so far, with 341 runs to his name.
— BCCI (@BCCI) February 2, 2018
The fast bowling sensation from Bengal had an impressive domestic season last year, taking 13 wickets in three matches. He pulled out after bowling only 4.2 overs against Australia in the first match due to a knee injury. But he made a strong comeback in the semi-final against Pakistan, with figures of 4-17.
Part of the Indian team’s pace attack along with Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi has impressed with speeds in the range of 144 kmph. He goes into the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup Final with eight wickets under his belt, including three in the opening match against Australia.
All Set For IPL Debut
Four of these players have found a place in squads for IPL 2018. The most expensive buy of the lot is Kamlesh Nagarkoti. He was sold to Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 3.2 crores at the auction on 27 January.
The captain of India’s U-19 team, Mumbai’s Prithvi Shaw, will play for the Delhi Daredevils after being sold for Rs 1.2 crores at the auction. Team vice-captain Shubman Gill was picked up by Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 1.8 crores. Fast bowler Shivam Mavi was also sold to the Kolkata franchise for IPL 2018.