Off to the best possible start with three wins on the trot, defending champions India will look to keep the juggernaut rolling when they take on New Zealand in their super six-stage match of the U-19 World Cup here on Tuesday.
Having qualified for the Super Six stage as Group A leaders, India will also have the advantage of playing at the Mangaung Oval on Tuesday — the same venue where they have played all their three matches so far.
New Zealand, on the other hand, moved here from East London and will have to adapt quickly to the conditions.
India notched up easy wins against Bangladesh, Ireland and USA. While the record five-time champions struggled a bit with the bat against their Asian rivals in the first game, the ‘Boys in Blue’ fired on all cylinders in the following two games.
The best thing about the Indian team is that at least one or two batters had raised their hands and taken responsibility for scoring runs.
Number three batter Mursheer Khan, the younger brother of prolific Mumbai batter Sarfaraz, has been the team’s most consistent performer with the bat. Having scored a century and a fifty, Mursheer is the third-highest run-getter in the tournament after the group stage.
Adarsh Singh hasn’t been able to capitalise on the starts he had in the last two games and he will be looking for a big score while fellow opener Arshin Kulkarni would be high on confidence after his spectacular century.
Skipper Uday Saharan has played impactful innings and will look to continue in the same vein.
In the bowling department, left-arm pacer Naman Tiwari has excelled with the ball. After going wicketless against Bangladesh, he has grabbed four wickets each in the following two games.
Left-arm spinner Saumy Pandey has also been impressive, as he looks to attack the stumps with fairly accurate deliveries. With eight scalps so far, he boasts of the second-best economy (2.01) in the tournament.
New Zealand finished second in Group D with two wins from three games. The Kiwi’s batting lineup has struggled in the tournament.
While they were able to eke out a narrow one-wicket win over Afghanistan while chasing a modest 91, they succumbed to a deflating 10-wicket loss to Pakistan, where they were bowled out for 140.
Against a formidable India line-up, the onus will be on the Kiwi batters to complement the bowling department.
Both sides will also keep an eye on their Net Run Rates as each team will carry forward the points and NRR they earned against fellow Super Six qualifying teams.
India: Uday Saharan (c), Arshin Kulkarni, Adarsh Singh, Rudra Mayur Patel, Sachin Dhas, Priyanshu Moliya, Musheer Khan, Aravelly Avanish Rao, Saumy Kumar Pandey, Murugan Abhishek, Innesh Mahajan, Dhanush Gowda, Aaradhya Shukla, Raj Limbani and Naman Tiwari.
New Zealand: Oscar Jackson (c), Mason Clarke, Sam Clode, Zac Cumming, Rahman Hekmat, Tom Jones, James Nelson, Snehith Reddy, Matt Rowe, Ewald Schreuder, Lachlan Stackpole, Oliver Tewatiya, Alex Thompson, Ryan Tsourgas, Luke Watson.
Match starts at 1:30 pm IST.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)