Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Ruthless India aim for fifth U19 World Cup title against buoyant England. India are aiming for their fifth U19 World Cup
India are aiming for their fifth U19 World Cup
India are the most successful team in the history of the Under-19 World Cup with four trophies in 14 editions, with eight final appearances. In Antigua on Sunday (February 5), they are not just in with a shot to bag their fifth title and remain unbeaten in the 2022 edition, but also extend a legacy that has been etched in history books when they face England in the summit clash.
“Tremendous show of character and maturity from the U-19 team. With just 11 players available for today's game, to go out and express themselves the way they did was phenomenal. Can't say how proud I am of them!” VVS Laxman had tweeted after India beat Ireland by a whopping 174 runs earlier in the tournament. It wasn't just any other win, but it was a challenge like no other after the Indian contingent had been hit hard by the COVID-19 bug in their camp. Despite not having had skipper Yash Dhull and vice-captain Shaik Rasheed and others, with just about managing to put together a XI, India had not just put on a total of over 300, but also knocked over Ireland for just 133 within 40 overs. It was a reflection of the resilience and talent brimming in the squad that eventually went from strength to strength.
The Indian youngsters created history when they became the only team to ever qualify for their fourth consecutive final. They came close to a trophy last year, but were outdone, just about, by a spunky Bangladesh side. They, however, have the chance to undo the disappointment of last year against an unbeaten England side who had a straightforward passage through the group stage. They had a bit of a scare in the semifinal but held their nerve to go past Afghanistan by just 15 runs to give themselves the best shot at ending their title drought that has spanned 24 years. India and England have met seven times before in the tournament with India leading the head-to-head at 5-2, but this will be the first time they are facing each other in a summit clash.
After Dhull returned from his COVID-enforced break, he was unstoppable with a sublime hundred in the semifinal. Rasheed, meanwhile, has shown why he comes with a big reputation. After openers Angkrish Raghuvanshi and Harnoor Singh were cautious in the semifinal against Australia as India got off to a slow start, the pair steered India to 290. While the batters have stood up at various stages individually, the bowlers have fired in unison. Rajvardhan Hangargekar's extra pace and swing has troubled the top order batters, while Vicky Ostwal has impressed with his spin, exerting control in the middle overs. He is India's leading wicket-taker with 12 wickets at 10.75.
England's captain Tom Prest has led from the front with 292 runs, averaging 73, while Joshua Boyden, the left-arm pacer, has returned 13 wickets, averaging a brilliant 9.53. They too, have their wrist spinner Rehan Ahmed, who has provided crucial breakthroughs in the middle period. Jacob Bethell is the most explosive batter in that England batting order and bowls tidy slow left-arm.
England last reached the final way back in 1998, where they went on to win the title. They will look for history to repeat itself, while their opponents are out seeking to make history once again.
What: England U19 vs India U19, ICC U-19 World Cup 2022, Final
When: Saturday, February 05; 9:00 am local, 6:30 PM IST (Feb 6)
Where: Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua
India: Yash Dhull (captain), Harnoor Singh, Angkrish Raghuvanshi, Shaik Rasheed, Nishant Sindhu, Siddarth Yadav, Aneeshwar Gautam, Manav Parakh, Kaushal Tambe, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Vicky Ostwal, Garv Sangwan, Dinesh Bana, Aaradhya Yadav, , Vasu Vats, Ravi Kumar.
England: Tom Prest (captain), George Bell, Joshua Boyden, Alex Horton, Rehan Ahmed, James Sales, George Thomas, Thomas Aspinwall, Nathan Barnwell, Jacob Bethell, James Coles, William Luxton, James Rew, Fateh Singh, Benjamin Cliff.