India v West Indies, final, Under-19 World Cup, Mirpur February 13, 2016

WI's batting flair a test for India's bowlers

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Match facts

Sunday, February 14, 2016
Start time 0900 local (0300 GMT)

Play 04:21
Dikshit: Kishan's form will be a worry for India

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Two questions will most probably be answered in the final of the 2016 Under-19 World Cup. How long can West Indies Under-19s continue their World Cup campaign with flair? And are the India Under-19s are saving their best game for the final?

Ishan Kishan's side have won all their matches in the tournament so far and in the few times that they have been tested, for instance in the first 45 minutes of their semi-final against Sri Lanka Under-19s, their awareness of the match situation helped them get through. Sarfaraz Khan, Rishabh Pant and, at times, Armaan Jaffer have led the team's batting front but there hasn't been a combined effort that pushes the opponent out of the contest. The India team management has had to take the tough call of dropping Ricky Bhui, who made only 47 runs in the first three games. His replacement, Anmolpreet Singh, though, has done the job at No. 3 and will target a big score in the final.

India's bowling attack, Mayank Dagar, Avesh Khan and Mahipal Lomror, have done well together and will be expected to stop West Indies' fast-scoring batsmen. Keeping Gidron Pope, Shimron Hetmyer and Shamar Springer quiet for long periods of play will be a stern test for India, and will be the most interesting sub-plot in the final. Pope has regularly given West Indies strong starts with the bat, while Springer and Hetmyer have held together West Indies' middle order.

West Indies' bowling, too, has flair, especially with Alzarri Joseph and Chemar Holder who bowl with pace and bounce in the first ten overs. Keemo Paul has been effective in the death, which means that India will have to do much of their scoring in the middle overs. Given the strength of the sides, and a Mirpur pitch that offers bounce but remains slow, the final will be a compelling match.

Form guide


India: WWWWW (last five completed matches, most recent first)

West Indies: WWWWL

Talking points


Collectively India are still to put together a great batting performance, but their bowlers have done a good job of keeping the opposition at bay. Avesh, Dagar and Lomror have come together well while Rahul Batham and Khaleel Ahmed have been useful supporting acts.

The West Indies batsmen have shown the ability to bat together to form a good total or chase down a target. They would like a big knock from at least one of their in-form batsmen but the side has the ability to win through fifties and cameos from their batsmen.

Star performers


Left-arm spinner Mayank Dagar is not high up on the wicket-taking charts but has the lowest average (9.75) among the bowlers with a minimum of eight wickets. West Indies have said that they are more confident against spinners now but Dagar offers a big challenge.

Shamar Springer enjoyed his match-winning role against Bangladesh in the semi-final, and will once again be West Indies' go-to all-round talent in the final. He bats with a lot of freedom, and has shown the ability to find gaps under pressure. His medium-pace will also come handy, backing up the first spells from Joseph and Holder.

Key players


Anmolpreet Singh said after the semi-final that he wants to play a long innings and the final will be a great chance for him to do so. He has so far played two good knocks in knockout games, after replacing Ricky Bhui in the side. His offspin and fielding have also been impressive.

Gidron Pope has been consistent in giving West Indies a fast start with the bat, though he has struck only two half-centuries so far. If he can carry a fiery start into the middle overs of the final, it could put West Indies in an dominant position.

Underperformers


Washington Sundar has had limited opportunities with the bat coming in slightly later in the innings, but in the final, he will be expected to bat at a higher strike-rate and pick up wickets with his developing offspin.

Now that Shimron Hetmyer has found form, West Indies would like Michael Frew to do better than his 27 runs and two wickets in the five matches so far. His side would feel safe knowing that when the opportunity comes up in the final, he is prepared and in good touch to get them to a good score.

Pitch and conditions


West Indies and India pace bowlers have extracted bounce from the Mirpur pitch which is likely to be a slow surface. There will be less focus on the toss if the weather doesn't dramatically turn on the morning of the final, as otherwise teams have won batting and bowling first four times each.

Quotes


"If initially me and [Rishabh] Pant stay till the 12th over then 300 is possible because we know how to rotate the strike, and when to hit. Our calculation is good. So, the focus will be to concentrate for the initial part of play. [A score of] 270-280 will be good, but we will go for 300."

India Under-19s captain Ishan Kishan, on whether the side will have the added advantage of having played most of their World Cup matches in Mirpur

"We have talked about it yes, but nobody tends to have that pressure in them. The team is very confident and positive after the last two wins, going into the final. Pressure has not got into anyone and let's hope it stays that way."

West Indies Under-19s captain Shimron Hetmyer on whether his team is feeling the pressure of playing in the final

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • magnetic_loco_WAP4 on February 14, 2016, 1:58 GMT

    Kishan who is out of form should let Armaan Jaffer open alongside Pant. Kishan can bat at 6.

  • blahblah1234567 on February 14, 2016, 0:49 GMT

    I hope west indies win just because it will be better for the future of west indies and world cricket. India has loads of cricket but this west indies team can gain some confidence and be back as a full member team.

  • Sudhir Shinde on February 14, 2016, 0:24 GMT

    I have watched every19 match of India since dravid coaching.I doubt this will be pretty 1 sided match as India playing exceptionally well though hoping for close match !!

  • TUSHAR-M on February 13, 2016, 21:47 GMT

    Whoever wins the toss should bat first. The weather could be a factor so the match could have reduced overs. Good luck to both team. May the better team win. Frankly India must win and create a new record.

  • TowfiqueToronto on February 13, 2016, 20:50 GMT

    As a BD fan, I want India to win the final.

  • StatisticsRocks on February 13, 2016, 20:34 GMT

    The spirit with which this WI team is playing is the reason why they are winning. They are really enjoying the game rather than focusing on the results. I ope it is a cracker of a final and as much as I want IND to win, I will be be very happy for this WI team. I see some of their youngsters will be knocking the doors of the national side.

  •   Dannie Ramdolar on February 13, 2016, 19:43 GMT

    Plenty of Indian fans here. Finals are always unpredictable and not because India Senior side is better than WI seniors their U19 are destined to beat WI-U19. Game on

  • Proteas136 on February 13, 2016, 18:57 GMT

    let's go windies. proud that you have made it this far now go for the kill.

  • i_amVIVA on February 13, 2016, 18:09 GMT

    Good luck to SC power Ind tomorrow from a BD. This has been a terrific U19 WC, I love the low scoring thrillers so far. BD/ SL had a cracker yesterday. If Ind wins tomorrow, they will be champion with unbeaten record. If WI wins, they'll be a true champion in SC conditions by beating the SC powerhouse Pak, BD and Ind in the tournament. Underperformer SL is 4th by losing to all SC powers Pak, Ind and BD. BD is 3rd by a singular loss on a off day to WI. Good luck to both the teams in the final, hope for a thriller tomorrow, and may the best team wins the championship!!!

  • TrueFactors on February 13, 2016, 17:31 GMT

    WI is going to lift this U19 WC, unless Indian spinners show some magic.. There is no mystery spinner in Indian team, so I doubt that is possible.

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