LAHORE - Pakistan Under-19 team is ready for arch-rivals India test as the two arch-rivals lock horns in the quarterfinals of the ICC Under-19 World Cup on Monday (today) at the Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville .
The PTV Sports will telecast quarter-finals live at 4:30 am. Pakistan will have an edge over India as Green shirts remained unbeaten in Group B while India suffered a shock defeat against the West Indies in Group C before bounced back to win against Zimbabwe and Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Pakistan captain Babar Azam, who is the second leading run-getter with 182 runs, said: "We played India in the Asia Cup in Malaysia before this tournament and we won one (by one run) while the other game (the final) ended in a tie. There is always a tight contest between us and we are expecting nothing different this time.
"Our players are aware of how exciting this is for the supporters of both the teams. They know that there will be millions of fans glued to their screens seeing the action when we meet. The last time we met the games were exciting so we hope that continues." "We played India in the Asia Cup in Malaysia before this tournament and we won one match (by one run) while the other game (the final) ended in a tie. There is always a tight contest between us and we are expecting nothing different this time," Pakistan skipper Babar Azam said. "Pakistan will be a challenge but we have worked hard on our skills coming into the tournament and also on the mental side of our game” said Indian captain.
However, against Pakistan it will be a different ball game altogether with their captain Babar Azam leading from the front. His only failure with the bat came in Pakistan's previous match against the New Zealand. Indian colts managed to put their campaign back on track after losing the opening encounter to the West Indies, but their batting has been a big let-down. With the past record also not favouring the Indian colts, it will be a tough task for the boys in blue. India enjoys an overall 9-7 record against Pakistan in Under-19 cricket, but the green shirts have performed better in big and pressure matches, having won five of the six contests in the World Cups.
India's batting has been inconsistent with some of the big names like skipper Unmukt Chand and Baba Aprajith failing to deliver the goods. Chand has amassed 104 runs from his three outings in the tournament so far with 78 against Zimbabwe being the best, while Aprajith has managed a meagre 43 from a similar number of matches. India, though, can boast of a reliable bowling attack which has been able to deliver with some degree of consistency in the tournament so far. India's only victory in the U-19 Cricket World Cup came in 1998 in Durban where they beat Pakistan by five wickets. However, skipper Chand is confident of a good show against Pakistan in the knock-out match.
New Zealand face Windies:
In other quarterfinals New Zealand will play the West Indies in the last quarter-final match at Endeavour Park 1 today. The winners of India-Pakistan and New Zealand-West Indies matches will play in the second semi-final at Tony Ireland Stadium on Thursday.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (capt), Umar Waheed, Azizullah, Ehsan Adil, Faraz Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mir Hamza, M Nawaz, Saad Ali, Salman Afridi (wk), Sami Aslam, Shahid Ilyas, Usman Qadir, Zafar Gohar, Zia-ul-Haq.
India: Unmukt Chand (capt), Akshdeep Nath, Baba Aparajith, Prashant Chopra, Sandipan Das, Harmeet Singh, Akhil Herwadkar, Rush Kalaria, Kamal Passi, Smit Patel (wk), Ravikant Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Hanuma Vihari, Vikas Mishra, Vijay Zol.