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ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup final: India’s pacers the X-factor - Prithvi Shaw

Prithvi Shaw has expressed confidence in India’s fast bowling trio to help the team win their fourth ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup title, ahead of the final against Australia in Mount Maunganui.

cricket Updated: Feb 02, 2018 22:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mount Maunganui
ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup,Under-19 Cricket World Cup,India vs Australia
Speedster Kamlesh Nagarkoti, who has been picked by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), has grabbed seven wickets in the ongoing ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup. (Twitter )

Prithvi Shaw, the skipper of the India Under-19 World Cup team, has plenty of reasons to be high on confidence. India is the only undefeated side in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand and Shaw has said the performance of fast bowlers gives the team a certain edge and confidence ahead of the final.

“Whenever the team’s needed them, they (fast bowlers) have provided the breakthroughs. They’re ready whenever I ask them to bowl. All of them … Kamlesh (Nagarkoti), (Ishan) Porel, (Shivam) Mavi have good intensity and their fitness is great. All have a good attitude in the field; we’re all really pumped up when our fast bowlers do well.”

(Read | ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup: India’s most memorable matches)

In the league clash against Australia at Mount Maunganui, India’s pace bowling came to the fore. Nagarkoti regularly touched 150 kmph, while the likes of Mavi and Porel also showcased their skills with their pace and accuracy.

When asked about India’s pace bowlers, especially Nagarkoti’s pace, Sangha was not worried. “Good on him. It does not bother us,” the Australian skipper said.

‘Weak middle order’

India’s top three in Shaw, Manjot Kalra and Shubman Gill have been the stars of the batting line-up. However, Australia skipper Jason Sangha pointed out a weakness in the Indian team. “They probably haven’t been tested too much; especially their middle-order,” Sangha said.

(Read | ICC under-19 Cricket World Cup final: India’s middle order not that strong - Jason Sangha)

However, Shaw said he was not too worried about this situation. “Even if we get one partnership, we can take charge of the match and take the score to 250-300. If you look at our match against Australia, we put up a good total even though we lost a couple of wickets after an early partnership. The middle order also controlled the innings well,” Shaw said.

(Read | Australia U-19 cricket World Cup coach Ryan Harris in awe of India’s pace pack)

The middle order has chipped in with vital contributions during the tournament, with Abhishek Sharma scoring a fifty against Bangladesh while Anukul Roy’s cameo against Pakistan took India past 250. However, India’s charge in the tournament has been led by the top three batsmen. Gill is the leading run-getter with 341 runs at an average of 170.5, while the likes of Shaw and Manjot Kalra have stitched two 150-plus stands in addition to an 89-run stand vs Pakistan.

(Read | ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup final: History suggests India hold edge over Australia)

‘Different team’

Despite losing the league game against India by 100 runs, Sangha has said the final has a different dynamic altogether. “It’s a grand finale, a different contest. There’s different pitch, definitely some nerves in their team as well,” Sangha said.

The Australian skipper said the team during the league stage is different from the one which will play in the final. “They have not seen our two quick bowlers (Ryan Hadley and Zak Evans) who did not play in the first game. We have a couple of ideas but when you are actually out there on the field, it could be totally different sometimes,” Sangha said.

‘No favourites’

When asked whether India were the favorites in the final, Sanga replied, “I don’t feel we are the underdogs, or India the favourites. Whoever plays the best will win.”

First Published: Feb 02, 2018 16:11 IST