ICC U19 World Cup 2024: In what promises to be an intriguing match, defending champions India U19 and South Africa U19 are all set to face off in the first semi-final of the U19 ODI World Cup on February 6th at Willowmoore Park in Benoni. The match begins at 1:30 p.m. IST.
India has been on a winning streak from the start of the group stage games, and they finished first in their group after winning all three group stage matches against Bangladesh, the United States, and Ireland. Even in the Super Six, the Boys in Blue easily defeated New Zealand and Nepal, acquiring the first position in Super Six Group 1 with eight points. Uday Sharan’s Boys in Blue dominated the game against New Zealand U19, winning by 214 runs. In the following game against Nepal, the Uday Saharan-led team won by 132 runs, effectively defending a 297-run goal. The Indians are in excellent form and will be eager to beat the Junior Proteas in the semi-finals and go to another U19 World Cup final.
South Africa U19 had a satisfactory group stage, securing comfortable victories against the West Indies and Scotland, although they faced defeat against England in their second group stage match. Transitioning into the Super Six, the Proteas showcased impressive form with convincing wins over Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka. Against Zimbabwe U19, the Junior Proteas clinched victory by nine wickets. In their match against Sri Lanka, Kwena Maphaka’s six-wicket haul and Riley Norton’s four-wicket contribution propelled the Junior Proteas to a convincing 119-run win over the Island Nation’s team. Now, the Junior Proteas aim to disrupt India’s momentum by defeating them in the semi-finals.
Talking about India’s playing 11 for the match against South Africa, Adarsh Singh and Arshin Kulkarni are expected to open the innings for the Boys in Blue in the first semi-final match of the 2024 U19 World Cup. Adarsh Singh has been in really good form with the bat, as he has scored 191 runs in five matches, including two half centuries, and those two 50+ run innings came against the likes of New Zealand U19 (52 runs) and Bangladesh U19 (76 runs). Adarsh would be looking to play another good knock against South Africa and help his team qualify for another U19 World Cup Final.
Arshin Kulkarni, Adarsh Singh’s opening partner and batting all-rounder, has 174 runs under his belt at an average of 34.80, including one century against the USA U19 (108 runs). Aside from his 108-run effort, Arshin has not done much with the bat, and he will need to produce large runs if he wants to ensure that India avoids struggling against South Africa’s formidable bowling attack.
The brother of Sarfaraz Khan and the highest run getter in the current edition of the 2024 U19 World Cup, Musheer Khan, is expected to come in to bat at number three. With the bat, Musheer has managed to score 334 runs in five matches at an unbelievable average of 83.50, which includes two centuries and one half century. His first hundred came against Ireland in India’s second group stage match, where he played a brilliant knock of 118 runs, which consisted of nine fours and four sixes.
He then played the best knock of this tournament against New Zealand when he scored 131 runs in 126 balls at a strike rate of 103.96. With his left-arm orthodox bowling, he has dismissed batters four times in five games, with his best figures being 2-10 against New Zealand. Musheer would be looking to perform at his best once again against South Africa and help India defeat the Junior Proteas in the first semi-final.
Indian skipper Uday Saharan would come in to bat at number four, and he has been nothing short of excellent with the bat for the Indians. He’s the second-highest run scorer in this year’s U19 World Cup, as he has managed to get 308 runs in his bag in five matches, which consists of one century and two fifties. He scored his lone century of 100 runs in the previous match against Nepal, and he would like to play another big knock against South Africa.
CSK wicketkeeper Aravelly Avanish will be donning the wicket-keeping gloves against South Africa in the semi-final. He has been really good with his glovework, but with the bat, he hasn’t done much, as he has yet to register a single fifty in this year’s U19 World Cup. He has scored just 74 runs in five matches, with a best score of 23 runs. He would like to improve with the bat and help his side deal with the threat of South Africa in the semi-final.
Priyanshu Molliya will be batting at number six, and he will be expected to play the role of the finisher. He has been decent with the bat, and he would be looking to provide the Indians with a good finish in the later half of their batting innings.
The number seven position will be occupied by Sachin Dhas. Though his primary role is that of a finisher, he showed in the match against Nepal that he can play the role of a proper middle-order batter and inning stabilizer with his knock of 116 runs at a strike rate of 114.85. He can bat higher up the order as well, according to the demands of the situation, and he will play an important role in India’s success against South Africa.
Murugan Abhishek, Naman Tiwari, Raj Limbani, and Saumy Pandey will form the bowling unit of the Boys in Blue. Murugan Abhishek and Saumy Pandey will be the main spinners of the Boys in Blue, while Naman Tiwari and Raj Limbani will play the roles of the fast bowlers.
Raj Limbani (five wickets) and Saumy Pandey (16 wickets) will be the most important bowlers for the Boys in Blue, and both of them will play crucial roles in the Uday Saharan-led team’s hopes of qualifying for yet another final.
India’s predicted playing 11 against South Africa
Uday Saharan (C), Adarsh Singh, Arshin Kulkarni, Aravelly Avanish (WK), Musheer Khan, Sachin Dhas, Priyanshu Molliya, Murugan Abhishek, Naman Tiwari, Ram Limbani, and Saumy Pandey.
For more, Visit the Official Site of U19 Cricket Teams