ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup | Runaway favourite India ready for High Five

 thehindu.com  01/16/2020 16:51:49 

A few precocious talents, hardworking teenagers and a chunky lot which might fall by the wayside in times to come will form an eclectic 16-team mix in the melting pot called ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup starting on Friday.

Defending champion India will be the overwhelming favourite to win the junior global meet for the fifth time with at least six players, including skipper Priyam Garg having played senior cricket  First Class, List-A or T20. Four players  Garg, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ravi Bishnoi, Kartik Tyagi  have already landed fat contracts in the IPL.

Team to beat

India has been the team to beat on the junior circuit since Virat Kohlis men dominated the proceedings in the 2008 edition.

While there will be future stars in Pakistan, Australia, England and New Zealand, the presence of Japan and Nigeria will certainly have its own curiosity value.

Japan is clubbed with India, New Zealand and Sri Lanka in Group D.

The Japanese team has mostly South Asian expats with names like Tushar Chaturvedi, Yugandhar Retharekar, Ishan Fartyal and Debasish Sahoo helping out the likes of Kazumasha Takahashi, Masato Morita and Shu Noguchi.

Local flavour

Nigeria, which is clubbed with Australia, West Indies and England, has more local flavour in the presence of Sylvester Okpe, Oche Boniface, Ifeanyichukwu Uboh and Olayinka Olaleye.

The tournament starts with South Africa taking on Afghanistan in Kimberley on Friday, followed by Australias big-ticket game against West Indies on Saturday.

Australia, like India, has a number of players who have already played senior level cricket with one prominent name being Ian Harveys nephew McKenzhie Harvey, who has played 2 List-A and 13 T20 games.

Similarly, England has Ben Charlesworth, who has appeared in 11 First Class games while a few of his teammates have also played for their respective counties.

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