The India under-19 team is one of the most successful sides in the U-19 World Cup with three titles in its trophy cabinet. And at the 12th edition of the tournament, led by Prithvi Shaw, the Indian team will aim for a historic fourth title. But to do so they will have to ward off the first challenge on their path – arch-rivals Pakistan. After beating neighbours Bangladesh comfortably in the quarter-finals, India will be tested in a high-pressure semi-final at Hagley Oval, Christchurch on Tuesday.
As far as head-to-head records are concerned, both the teams have squared-off against each other on 21 instances and India hold the edge with a 12-8 scoreline in their favour. One match finished in a tie. Each of those encounters led to classic contests and it is worth it to go back in time and take a look at some of those.
Ind vs PAk U-19 World Cup, 2014
The last time the two teams faced each other was at the 2014 Under-19 World Cup where an inspired batting performance by Sanju Samson led India to a famous win. Led by skipper Vijay Zol, India won the toss and elected to bat first. Despite losing wickets at regular intervals, Samson’s innings provided the impetus for the men in blue to post a competitive 262/7 in 50 ovs. Deepak Hooda’s five-for helped India restrict Pakistan to 222 and win the match by 40 runs.
Ind vs PAk U-19 Asia Cup, 2012
During the under-19 Asia Cup 2012 final in Kuala Lumpur, India and Pakistan fought a famous battle which resulted in a tie. Pakistan opener Sami Aslam slammed a blistering 134 to help his side post 282/9 before Indian skipper Unmukt Chand hit a fantastic 121 to even out the odds. Baba Aparajith also hit a 90 but it was not enough for the Indian side as they failed to cross the line by a solitary run.
Ind vs PAk U-19 World Cup, 2004
In 2004, India enjoyed a fine run in the tournament until they were beaten by Pakistan in the semi-finals. This Indian side led by Dinesh Karthik featured some of the future stars – Robin Uthappa, Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, RP Singh. However, on the day when it mattered the most the men in blue failed to deliver. After electing to bat first India could only manage to put 169 on the board, Uthappa top-scoring with 33. Tariq Mahmood, Fawad Alam made a valuable contribution with the bat to help Pakistan reached the target with five wickets in hand.
While India and Australia are the two most successful team, Pakistan are the third on the list with back to back title wins in 2004 and 2006. Hence a chance to equal India and Australia beckons the men in green. Will they be able to it?
Squads for ICC U-19 World Cup, Semi Final on January 30th 2018:
India U19: Prithvi Shaw(c), Manjot Kalra, Shubman Gill, Harvik Desai(w), Riyan Parag, Abhishek Sharma, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Anukul Sudhakar Roy, Shivam Mavi, Shiva Singh, Ishan Porel, Aryan Juyal, Arshdeep Singh, Pankaj Yadav, Himanshu Rana, Aditya Thakare
Pakistan U19: Muhammad Zaid Alam, Rohail Nazir(w), Ammad Alam, Hasan Khan(c), Mohammad Taha, Saad Khan, Muhammad Musa, Shaheen Afridi, Suleman Shafqat, Arshad Iqbal, Imran Shah, Mohammad Ali Khan, Munir Riaz, Ali Zaryab, Muhammad Mohsin Khan