India will be heading to the match of Group C on Sunday at Queenstown. Indian team gave a fantastic performance in the match against Australia, the first one in the ICC U19 cricket world cup.
But the team faced a challenge to give competence in the next two matches due to inertia and injuries.
In the final group match, they defeated Zimbabwe and made their entry easy into the quarterfinals. India is going to face better teams and more challenges in their journey ahead to the final victory.
The lack of inertia is the first challenge affecting the competency of the team. Flat catches seem easier than higher ones but they need momentum at the point. Another thing that bothers the Indian team is injuries. Though the Indian team tops the group and has six days for the quarter-final, the long gap between the tournament matches is not a good sign, however.
There are mixed chances of recovery of the injured pacer Ishan Porel for the upcoming matches. He had an impressive spell in the match against Australia. But there are good chances of recovery of his injury to the ankle in a match against Zimbabwe within this gap. Vidarbha fast bowler Aditya Thakare was called as a substitute for the quarter-final.
Another player who is happy with the six-day break is Riyan Parag who did not get the chance to play in the tournament in spite of good form in the warm-up matches because of the finger injury.
He did not participate in the group field session on Friday but was given separate catches for testing his ability to play. He played with precautionary tape on fingers and cannot bat but was expected to recover and play for the team in the quarter-final match.
India is most likely to compete with Bangladesh in the Queenstown match if England beats Canada in the last group match. Bangladesh will be the fourth country in the top 8 along with Pakistan and Afganistan qualifying in the league matches.
India seems to learn the lesson from its shocking loss to Nepal in the previous Asia cup tournament and this was proved in the match against Zimbabwe as Indians succeeded to wind up the Zimbabwe team within 154 runs in 22 overs. The team showed good batting performance even the line up was shuffled for this match.
The Indian Captain Prithwi Shaw said, “ I think it’s a really good start for us in the tournament”, he added, “we always talk about learning to win the games, even if you’re playing against a weaker team. We still have to play to our standards, to our professionalism, so this is what we talk about and I think all of the boys are doing good.”
The Indians are to be wary about Bangladesh team led by Mehdi Hasan, semi-finalists in 2016 Asia cup, who confirmed the exit of the Indian team in the tournament through the Indians are strong enough when compared to those days.
Speaking about his spin trio including Riyan Parag, the Indian Captain Shaw said: “They’ve got experience to bowl on these wickets.”
“How to take the wickets, if I use them in the Power Play, they’ve got really good experience. Some of them have played Ranji Trophy and as well and all those experiences come in.”
So, Indian team needs to gain some momentum to fight the battle of title victory and think beyond the quarter-final.