India are the only team that did not lose a single match en-route to the final of the 2016 Under-19 World Cup. Their dominant display makes them the favorites to clinch the crown for the fourth time but the West Indies will be determined to secure their maiden Under-19 World Cup. Catch all the live cricket scores and updates (NEWS | PHOTOS)
— ICC (@ICC) February 14, 2016
Rahul Dravid’s contribution to Indian cricket is immense. The amount of runs he has scored in both Tests and one-day internationals, combined with the milestones that he has accumulated, make him one of the greats. However, there is one thing missing in Dravid’s stellar career and that is a World Cup win. On February 14, he is one win away from adding a World Cup trophy to his stellar list of achievements.
India’s performance in this edition has been dominant. They have clicked in all departments and there have been no weaknesses in the team. The batting, bowling and fielding have all clicked as a unit. At the top, Rishabh Pant, who smashed the fastest fifty in Under-19 cricket against Nepal, has provided the necessary firepower. In the middle order, Sarfaraz Khan and Washington Sundar have provided stability. With the ball, Avesh Khan with 11 wickets has been the pick of the bowlers while the likes of Mahipal Lomror have been a revelation.
The team has won 15 consecutive matches and skipper Ishan Kishan now stands on the cusp of winning the Under-19 World Cup for the fourth time, which will be the most by any team. He has a chance to join the likes of Mohammad Kaif, Virat Kohli and Unmukt Chand as the other World Cup winning skippers for India.
West Indies Should Not Be Taken Lightly
Few would have thought West Indies would be in this situation after their loss in the opening match to England. However, with some gritty performances have seen the boys from the Caribbean dance their way to the final.
Shamar Springer has epitomised the cavalier nature of the West Indies cricket team in this tournament. His celebratory dances have been the talk of town, but his energy and skills have served the team well. The likes of skipper Shimron Hetmyer and Gidron Pope, two power hitters have served the batting well.
With the ball, Alzarri Jospeh has grabbed the attention of analysts with his 90-mph speed. Speaking just before the final, former West Indies player Ian Bishop said, “The kids have done better than I thought they would have. I wouldn’t say they were as prepared as they could have been. So to get to the final… I think it will encourage a lot of West Indian supporters. It also give a glimpse that West Indies do have talents, if not as much as before.”
A win for West Indies will go a long way to revive interest in the game back home. They would be desperate to overcome the tragedy of 2004 at the same venue, when they lost the final by 25 runs to Pakistan.