KARACHI: The Pakistan U19 team will face their biggest test of the ongoing World Cup when they face arch-rivals India U19 team in the semi-final at the Hagley Oval on Tuesday.
Pakistan, who have faced only one defeat in the tournament in the opening match against Afghanistan, beat South Africa in the quarter-final to enter the semis.
Meanwhile, India, unbeaten in the tournament, thrashed Bangladesh to book their semi-final berth.
The winner of the match will face Australia U19 team in the final, who beat Afghanistan comprehensively on Monday to claim the first spot in the landmark final.
Throughout the tournament, Pakistan have found strength from their bowling department, with Shaheen Shah Afridi bagging 11 wickets in four matches with a six-for.
Ali Zaryab has been dreaming of playing them since he was a small child, but for both him and captain Hassan Khan, the #U19CWC semi-final clash with India is being treated as a 'normal game' #PAKvIND pic.twitter.com/ymEosrfgGr
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) January 29, 2018
Meanwhile, Anukul Roy has been India’s primary weapon in the bowling department with 11 wickets with a five-for to his name.
In the batting department, Pakistan’s Ali Zaryab Asif is their top-scorer with 163 runs in four matches and a highest score of 74 not out.
For India’s, Shubman Gill hold the top spot in batting with 239 runs in four matches and the best score of 90 not out.
However, Pakistan’s wicketkeeper Rohail Nazir is the best man behind the stumps in the tournament till now with his ten dismissals —all caught behinds.
Breaking India’s confidence important: Adil
Pakistani fast-bowler Ehsan Adil, while talking to The Express Tribune, said that the young players will have to bat well.
“We have a better bowling unit than batting, so if the batsmen post a good target for the bowlers to defend, Pakistan can win easily,” he said. “They have the ability to beat India. What they need to do is put India under pressure from the word go and make them commit mistakes. One that happens, opportunities will be presented to Pakistan to snatch the match away from India.”
Right-arm pacer further added that team management needs to help the players in such a crunch match by giving them confidence.
“The management, including coach and manager, have to boost the team’s confidence. They will be under pressure of making it into the final, but the team who handles the pressure well will win,” he said.
Kangaroos register six-wicket win over Afghanistan in last-four tie on Monday
Arch-rivals to face each other in semi-final on January 30 at Christchurch