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ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2020: Previewing Defending Champions India

The ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup is all set to be held next year in South Africa from January 17 to February 9, 2020. South Africa first hosted the event in 1998 and were crowned Champions in 2014. India U19 has won the tournament five times and are the current defending champions. Australia has won it three times, Pakistan twice while England, South Africa and West Indies have won it once each. This is the 13th edition of the marquee tournament with a total of 16 teams participating in four groups.

The league stage starts from January 17 and continues till January 25. Then two teams from each group advance for the quarter-finals which will be played on January 27 and 29. Next, the semifinal phase begins from January 30 to February 6 with 3rd, 5th and 7th place playoff matches in between. The final will be played on 9th February at Senwes Park, Potchefstroom. 

In this write up we take a look at the Indian U19 squad of the current champions India. 

Image result for india u19 cricket team for World Cup 2020
Photo Source: ( https://www.bcci.tv/ )

India U19 are placed in group A alongside New Zealand, Sri Lanka and first-timers Japan. India play against Sri Lanka on January 19, after which they’ll take on Japan (January 21) and New Zealand (January 24), with all their matches in Bloemfontein.

 The BCCI has selected a quality side for the tournament with the players coming off recent success in domestic tournaments. The final squad was announced by head of the national junior selection committee Aashish Kapoor. 

The India U19 team will be led by UP ‘s Priyam Garg who is a top-order batsman. In August this year, Garg also led the junior side during the tri-series in England, where India defeated Bangladesh in the finals by six wickets. The Indian-U19 skipper is already averaging 66.69 and has a double-century against his name.

Image result for Yashasvi Jaiswal
Yashasvi Jaiswal. Photo Source: (https://www.bcci.tv/ )

Besides him, there are three other top-quality cricketers from Mumbai namely, Yashasvi Jaiswal, who became the youngest double-centurion in senior List A cricket in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, would look to carry his sensational form to South Africa. While Atharva Ankolekar, the left-arm spinner who was the star of India’s U-19 Asia Cup triumph, and batsman Divyaansh Saxena, from the Dilip Vengsarkar Foundation, will hope to play the supporting role.

Image result for Dravid - Shaw
Photo Source: (https://www.bcci.tv/ )

Rahul Dravid who coached India to their previous U-19 title with Prithvi Shaw at the helm in 2018, said that the India team has a pretty good pace attack to take advantage of the bowling friendly conditions in South Africa.

“If the conditions in South Africa aid the fast bowlers, we will have a pretty good attack. We have got batting down to seven, eight, nine. We have got spinners. We had enough competition for places, so that was nice to see” said the former India U-19 coach.

The bowling line-up will be led by Sushant Mishra and Kartik Tyagi who were the top wicket-takers in the England series. Atharva will lead the spin attack with Shubhang Hegde in support. Along with these four Rajasthan’s Akash Singh and Karnataka’s Vidhyadhar Patil will share the responsibilities with the ball. 

Dhruv Jurel will keep wickets for India and also has been assigned the vice-captaincy duties for the tournament. He is known to have clean glovework and someone who looks up to MS Dhoni for inspiration. Besides his glovework, he will be a key with the bat as well.

A young Indian team led by Prithvi Shaw won the previous edition of the U-19 World Cup in New Zealand as they beat a well-competitive Australian outfit by 8 wickets and remained unbeaten in the tournament. Now the baton is on young Garg’s shoulders to retain the title and extend the dominance of the Indian U-19 team. 

Ahead of the start of the tournament, India will play a bilateral series against South Africa and a quadrangular series featuring South Africa, Zimbabwe and New Zealand’s under-19 teams. 

India U-19 squad for the 2020 World Cup:

Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Divyansh Saxena, Priyam Garg (c), Dhruv Chand Jurel (VC, wk), Shashwat Rawat, Divyansh Joshi, Shubhang Hegde, Ravi Bishnoi, Akash Singh, Kartik Tyagi, Atharva Ankolekar, Kumar Kushagra, Sushant Mishra, Vidyadhar Patil, CTL Rakshan.

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