Dubai: Riding high on the confidence of their emphatic 10-wicket win over Pakistan in the semi-final, champions India take on a spirited Bangladesh in the final of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup on Sunday at the JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
In the second semi-final on Thursday, Bangladesh had stopped New Zealand by six wickets to reach the final for the first time in history.
The architect of their triumph was Mahmudul Hasan who cracked a century, exactly 100 runs off 127 balls with 13 boundaries, to ensure the victory with 35 balls to spare.
Bangladesh had earlier restricted New Zealand to 211 for eight.
India’s 10-wicket victory over Pakistan, riding on their opener Yashasvi Jaiswal’s unbeaten 105, and their all-round performance makes them the strong favourite in the final.
Skipper Priyam Garg, talking about their team’s chances in the final after his team’s semi-final win, said: “It’s one more step towards what we set out to achieve when we started out. This is the best (bowling) attack of the tournament, because all our fast bowlers hit 140-plus consistently and the spinners hit the right lines and lengths. I would want us to follow the same process as we have done. We have to approach the final just as another game that we have to play.”
Bangladesh skipper Akbar Ali is aware that Indian team are the favourites but said: “We will play it as a normal game. We don’t want to take unwanted pressure. India are a very good side. We have to play our ‘A’ game and do well in all three departments. Our fans are very passionate about their cricket. I would want to tell them keep supporting us.”
India will once again depend on their openers Jaiswal and Divyaansh Saxena to get a strong start while Bangladesh will want their fine left-arm pacer Shoriful Islam, who has been very accurate in this tournament, to pick some early wickets.
Bangladesh have also got two fine spinners in left-arm spinner Rakibul Hasan and off-spinner Shamim Hossain but whether they can remove the Indian batsmen quickly, one will have to wait and see.
Down the order, India also have a fine all-rounder in Siddhesh Veer.
Bangladesh are delighted with the show of semi-final’s century maker Hasan but all their other batsmen will have to rise to the challenge.
They will have to watch out for India’s leg spinner Ravi Bishnoi, slow left-arm spinner Atharva Ankolekar, Jaiswal’s leg spin and the pace of Kartik Tyagi and Sushant Mishra.