Going by form and numbers, India are clear favourites against Zimbabwe in their final group stage game at the ICC U19 World Cup 2018. India have played two matches in the tournament and won both with impressive show. They beat three-time champions Australia in the first game and then humiliated Papua New Guinea in the second game. Now, they have Zimbabwe. Both teams have met once before in the U19 World Cup history which India easily won the game. In overall U19 matches, India have never lost to Zimbabwe, winning all three encounters with ease.
But India will be going into the game without fast bowler Ishan Porel which will be a big blow for them. Though India have a good line-up but Zimbabwe will try to create an upset in the game. Zimbabwe need to win the game and then hope that PNG beat Australia, if they want to qualify for quarter-finals.
India have clicked in every part of their game and already booked their spot in the quarters. After beating Australia by 100 runs and then humiliating PNG by 10 wickets, India are favourites to continue their winning run. They have batsman who have given them top start in both games. Prithvi Shaw already has two half-centuries. Manjot Kalra has given good support to him. Zimbabwe will find it tough very tough to stop the Indian top order.
Zimbabwe have a set team as well as they beat PNG by 10 wickets but then suffered a seven-wicket loss to Australia. They have to count on their bowlers to keep India’s strong batting line-up to a limited score. Though Zimbabwe do not have the best of records, they can shine at the big stage on Friday.
India are three-time champions of the U19 World Cup and are one of the leading contenders for the title this year as well. A win on Friday will give them top spot in Group B and they will face the second-place finisher of Group C in quarters.
There is another possibility at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Friday. Rain and heavy wind is predicted in the city and that could mean we see another shortened match at the tournament. If it is washed out, then both teams get a point each but that does not stop India from claiming the top spot in the group.
India: Prithvi Shaw (c), Shubman Gill, Aryan Juyal, Abhishek Sharma, Arshdeep Singh, Harvik Desai, Manjot Kalra, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Pankaj Yadav, Riyan Parag, Ishan Porel, Himanshu Rana, Anukul Roy, Shivam Mavi, Shiva Singh
Zimbabwe: Liam Roche (c), Gregory Dollar, Donald Mlambo, Tanunurwa Makoni, Jayden Schadendorf, Milton Shumba, Alistair Frost, Dion Myers, Nkosilatu Nunu, Jonathan Conolly, Wesley Madhevere, Kieran Robinson, Robert Chimhinya, Tinashe Nenhunzi, Taun Harrison