Defending champions India will be firm favourites against Sri Lanka in their semi-final of the Under-19 Asia Cup at P. Sara Oval in Colombo on Thursday.


Sri Lanka have blown hot and cold in the competition and lack consistency and against a strong Indian outfit who seem to have covered all bases, it will be tall order for them.

Apart from possessing some quality batsmen and skilful bowlers, India’s planning has been excellent too in this competition.

Three of India’s junior selectors are in Colombo including former Test cricketers Aashish Kapoor and Debashish Mohanty and during the league phase of the tournament they have taken a look at all 15 players in the squad and have a fair idea as to what combination to pick.

Top order batsman Arjun Azad has been a treat to watch. The highest run scorer in the competition, he picked up Man of the Match awards in his first two games and looks a player for the future. Tilak Varma has been impressive too although he is perhaps more suited for the longer version of the game possessing a sound technique.

Sri Lanka’s batting revolves around Ahan Wickramasinghe, Navod Paranavithana, Kamil Mishara and Nipun Dananjaya and two of them need to get big scores if Sri Lanka were to stop India from entering yet another final.

Left-arm quick Dilshan Madushanka should enjoy the conditions at P. Sara Oval, the best track for fast bowlers in Sri Lanka. India will probably back all three of their quicks – left-armers Susant Mishra and Akash Singh and right arm fast bowler Purnank Tyagi.

Left-arm spinner Atharva Ankolekar has been sparingly used but he will play the knockouts as India look to continue their impressive run in ACC Under-19 Asia Cup.

Captain Dhruv Jurel has managed just 22 runs in three innings in the tournament so far and he is due for a big knock as well.

One area that Sri Lanka have excelled over other teams in the competition is their fielding and they will be hoping that their superior fielding skills give them some advantage over India. Man to man though, India are a far superior team.


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Filed September 11th, 2019