ICC U19 World Cup 2024: The highly anticipated Cup is approaching its climax with the exciting semi-finals set to take place! Here’s your one-stop guide to all the essential information you need:
India vs South Africa (6th February, Benoni)
- India: The tournament favorites, boasting a strong batting line-up led by Yashasvi Jaiswal and Nishant Sindhe. Their bowling attack, spearheaded by Ravi Kumar and Raj Angad, has been equally impressive.
- South Africa: Riding a wave of confidence after topping their group stage, they possess a well-balanced squad with talented batsmen like Ethan John and Matthew Breetzke. Their bowling attack, featuring Kwena Maphaka and Gerald Coetzee, can cause problems for any batting order.
Key Matchup: Can India’s experienced batting handle the pace and accuracy of the South African bowlers? Conversely, can South Africa’s batsmen cope with the spin threat posed by Ravi Kumar and Angad?
Australia vs Pakistan (8th February, Benoni)
- Australia: Led by the aggressive batting of Toby Lawes and Jack Gregory, they are a team known for their never-say-die attitude. Their bowling attack, with Connor Sully and William Prestwidge in their ranks, boasts variety and skill.
- Pakistan: A team full of exciting young talent, they have impressed with their all-round performances. Ahsan Ali’s leadership, along with the batting of Haseebullah Khan and the bowling of Ubaid Shah, will be crucial for their success.
Key Matchup: Can the Australian batsmen handle the spin of Rohail Nazir and Arafat Hussain? Will the Pakistani batsmen be able to counter the pace and swing of Sully and Prestwidge?
Where to watch:
- India: Star Sports Network (Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 Hindi)
- Online: Disney+ Hotstar (with subscription)
- ICC website: The official website of the ICC will have live scores, commentary, and match updates.
- Cricket apps: There are several cricket apps available that offer live scores, commentary, and news updates. Some popular options include Cricbuzz, ESPNcricinfo, and The Hindu.
- Social media: Follow the official ICC and team social media channels for live updates and behind-the-scenes content.
Predicting the outcome of these close matches is always tricky, but here’s a quick assessment:
- India vs. South Africa: Both teams have shown excellent form throughout the tournament. India boasts a strong batting line-up, while South Africa has a well-rounded attack. This promises to be a nail-biting encounter, with India holding a slight edge due to their recent performances.
- Australia vs. Pakistan: Australia has been dominant, showcasing consistent batting and bowling. Pakistan, however, is known for its fighting spirit and can’t be underestimated. This match could go either way, but Australia seems to be the favorite on paper.
- Both semi-finals are expected to be high-scoring affairs, with the pitches in Benoni known to be batting-friendly.
- The team that handles pressure better and executes their plans flawlessly will likely emerge victorious.
- Keep an eye out for young talents who might shine on the big stage and potentially become future stars of the cricket world.
DISCLAIMER: This team is based on the understanding, analysis, and instinct of the author. While selecting your team, consider the points mentioned and make your own decision.