Mirpur | Indian batting unit would look to sort out their top-order woes as they take on New Zealand in their second group D encounter of the ICC Under-19 World Cup, here tomorrow.
Both teams have had contrasting results in their opening fixture with India comfortably beating Ireland by 79 runs after initial jitters while New Zealand were stunned by qualifiers Nepal, who won by 32 runs.
On paper, the ‘Junior Black Caps’ are no match for the ‘Boys in Blue’ but when it comes to 22 yards, it’s a different ballgame altogether as Indian batsmen learnt it the hard way against an unfancied Irish bowling line-up before Sarfaraz Khan and Washington Sundar bailed them out.
For Rahul Dravid, the performance of the top-order would be a worrying factor as the likes of Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant, Armaan Jaffer did not look comfortable while batting in the morning session when the ball was doing a bit.
Save Ricky Bhui, who looked good during his brief innings of 39, it was left to IPL star Sarfaraz to bail the junior team out of trouble with a polished knock of 74.
There is a possibility that Tamil Nadu opener Washington will be brought up the order considering his tighter technique. During the U-19 season, Washington has opened and batted at No 3 for the colts team.
Rishabh Pant is another batsman on whom a lot depends if India want to post a big total.
Former India opener Wasim Jaffer’s nephew Armaan, a heavy scorer in national junior level, also did not look convincing during his short stay at the wicket.
The bowling unit performed better with seamer Rahul Batham and pacer Avesh Khan keeping the batsmen under check during the first game.
For New Zealand, after suffering a big setback, it would require lot of gumption to come back against a formidable Indian side.
The likes of Glenn Phillips and skipper Josh Finnie would like to prove that these batch of U-19s are as good as the ‘Class of 2008′ which had Ken Williamson, Trent Boult, Tim Southee to name a few.
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