India Under-19 cricket coach Rahul Dravid on Monday said his team will have to produce a good all-round performance to outwit Sri Lanka in the ICC World Cup semifinal on Tuesday given that both sides are well aware of what to expect from each other.
The power-packed Indians breezed through Group D with an all-win record against New Zealand, Nepal and Ireland, before crushing Namibia by 197 runs in the quarter-final.
Sri Lanka bounced back after a 23-run defeat to Pakistan in the last Group B match to stun a strong England side by six wickets in the quarter-final.
The in-form India are rated favourites, having won a tri-series in Sri Lanka last December, which also featured England, but Dravid refused to take the victory for granted.
“We know what to expect from them. They have a couple of seamers and a lot of good spinners. They bowl a lot of spin. Having said that, they also know what to expect from us,” said Dravid.
“It should be a good contest. We have been playing very good cricket of late and the lead-up to the tournament was good. We need to play well, irrespective of whether we bat or bowl first. If we play good cricket and bring our A game to the party, we will give ourselves a good chance to win.”
India’s batting has been led by aggressive left-handed opener Rishabh Pant, who followed a 18-ball half-century against Nepal with 111 off 96 balls in the quarter-final.
Sarfaraz Khan has shored up the middle-order with three half-centuries in four matches.
Sri Lanka coach Roger Wijesuriya said his side’s impressive win over England left him optimistic about the semi-final.
“India is a strong side, a good all-round side,” said Wijesuriya. “We know their strengths. I know Indians play spin well but spin bowling is our strength and we will stick to that. If we play the way we did against England, there is no reason why we can’t turn the semi-final in our favour,” he said.
“Our batsmen did not do well against Pakistan, but they showed up against England to back our bowlers and fielders. The batting has improved which is a good sign.”