Defending champions India will start as overwhelming favourites when they kick off their ICC U-19 World Cup campaign against Sri Lanka in Bloemfontein on Sunday.
India have time and again showed at the junior level that they are miles ahead of the other teams and won two titles and finished runner-up once in the last four editions.
Even in the run-up to the ongoing edition, India have won a bilateral series against South Africa, followed by a Quadrangular contest. The ‘Boys in Blue’ also beat Afghanistan comprehensively in a practice game.
In this edition, India’s campaign will be headlined by left-handed opener Yashasvi Jaiswal, who recently landed a Rs 2.4 crore contract with IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals.
Still weeks short of becoming eligible for procuring a driving license, Jaiswal is already touted as the next big thing in junior cricket, having hit a double hundred in the country’s Sr National One Day Championship (Vijay Hazare Trophy).
India skipper Priyam Garg, who also has a multi-crore IPL deal, is by far the most experienced player with 12 first-class and 19 List A games to his credit. The tall fast bowler Kartik Tyagi will also keep everyone interested due to his ability to work up pace.
Their opponents Sri Lanka also have a number of players who have played senior representative cricket but in recent times, including in the junior Asia Cup, the Indian team proved to be a far superior opposition.
India: Priyam Garg (C), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Divyansh Saxena, Dhruv Chand Jurel (VC & wk), Shashwat Rawat, Siddhesh Veer, Shubhang Hegde, Ravi Bishnoi, Akash Singh, Kartik Tyagi, Atharva Ankolekar, Kumar Kushagra (wk), Sushant Mishra, Vidyadhar Patil
Sri Lanka: Nipun Dananjaya (c), Ashian Daniel, Sonal Dinusha, Thaveesha Kahaduwaarachchi, Dilshan Madushanka, Kamil Mishara, Kavindu Nadeeshan, Navod Paranavithana, Matheesha Pathirana, Ravindu Rasantha, Mohammed Shamaaz, Amshi de Silva, Sudeera Thilakaratne, Ahan Wickramasinghe, Chamindu Wijesinghe.
Match Starts: 1:30 pm.