History beckons the Indian Under 19 cricket team as they take on Australia in the title clash of the ICC U-19 World Cup at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui in New Zealand on Saturday.
The grand finale between two of the most successful teams in the tournament shall commence at 6:30 AM (IST).
India and Australia would be chasing glory for the fourth time in the showpiece event after both of these sides have laid hands on the glittering trophy on three occasions in the past.
The Indians made it to the title clash after trouncing their arch rivals Pakistan by 203 runs in their semifinal encounter.Meanwhile Australia got the better of a spirited Afghanistan side in the other semis to secure a place in the grand finale.
The Indian team last met Australia in the finals of the Under 19 World Cup six years back in 2012 and it was Unmukt Chand led Indian team which took away the honours.
The Prithvi Shaw led Indian team would hold the edge in the grand finale courtesy their unbeatable run in the tournament. The Indians would go in the game with their sleeves up as they had beaten the Aussies handsomely in the opening game of the tournament.
It has been an all-round team performance by the Indian colts under the aegis of Mumbai’s batting prodigy Shaw who has captained them brilliantly and got the best out of his boys.
Shubmam Gill has been the find of the tournament with the willow. He has been superbly consistent, notching up a fifty every time he has walked out to bat. The batting efforts have been led by the skipper Prithvi Shaw who has scored a plethora of runs all through the tourney.
Meanwhile Harvik Desai and Manjot Kalra have made their presence felt too by contributing handsomely with the bat.
The Indian pace duo of Shivam Mavi and Nagarkoti have impressed one and all with their brisk pace and played a notable role in their team’s wins by making early inroads in the opposition batting all through the tournament.
Leg spinner Anukul Roy has been the trump card for the Indians in the spin department. He leads the wicket taking charts with 12 wickets in the tournament. Roy was at his lethal best when he cast a web around the PNG picking a five-fer against the minnows.
ICC Under 19 World Cup final - Squads for India and Australia
India U19 (From): Prithvi Shaw(c), Manjot Kalra, Shubman Gill, Harvik Desai(w), Riyan Parag, Abhishek Sharma, Anukul Roy, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Shiva Singh, Ishan Porel, Himanshu Rana, Aryan Juyal, Arshdeep Singh, Pankaj Yadav, Aditya Thakare
Australia U19 (From): Jack Edwards, Max Bryant, Jason Sangha(c), Jonathan Merlo, Param Uppal, Nathan McSweeney, Will Sutherland, Baxter J Holt(w), Zak Evans, Ryan Hadley, Lloyd Pope, Xavier Bartlett, Jarrod Freeman, Aaron Hardie, Austin Waugh
So in a nutshell, the time has come to separate the Men from the Boys as two of the hot favourites in the tournament, India and Australia, battle it out for the ultimate prize at the Under 19 level of world cricket.