In-form batter and captain Yash Dhull will be expecting a much improved batting effort from his team when record four-time champions India take on Ireland in their second Group B match of the ICC U-19 World Cup on Wednesday. Having started their campaign with a 45-run win over South Africa, the Indians are brimming with confidence and are expected to steamroll Ireland at the Brian Lara Stadium. Both India and Ireland have registered wins in their openers.
While India beat South Africa, Ireland defeated Uganda by 39 runs. Dhull single-handedly anchored the Indian innings against the Junior Proteas as they lost both their openers -- Harnoor Singh and Angkrish Raghuvanshi early after being put into bat. Dhull added vital 71 runs with Shaikh Rasheed (31) for the third to resurrect the Indian innings first and then stitched valuable contributions with Nishant Sidhu (27), Raj Bawa (13) and Kushal Tambe (35) to give his bowlers a decent target to defend.
But come Wednesday, Dhull would be looking for more support from his openers to ease the pressure on middle and lower-order going into the knockout stages of the tournament. If Indian batters were not upto the mark against South Africa, it was completely contrasting performance from the bowling unit. Left-arm spinner Vicky Ostwal (5/28) turned out to be the star performer with the ball while right-arm fast bowler Raj Bawa (4/47) gave the perfect support from the other end as India bowled out South Africa for 187 runs.
Jalandhar-born left-handed opener Harnoor, who was India's leading run-getter in the Asia Cup with 251 runs in five games and struck an unbeaten 100 against Australia in the team's final warm-up game on January 11, is expected to score a bagful of runs in the tournament but managed only 1 in the opener. Right-arm pacer Rajvardhan Hangargekar (1/38), who has played senior cricket for Maharashtra and impressed with his raw pace in the Asia Cup, and left-arm fast bowler Ravi Kumar both had ordinary outings against South Africa. Meanwhile in the other match of the day, Australia will take on Scotland in a Group D game in Basseterre.
Yash Dhull (c), Harnoor Singh, Angkrish Raghuvanshi, SK Rasheed (vc), Nishant Sindhu, Siddarth Yadav, Aneeshwar Gautam, Dinesh Bana, Aaradhya Yadav, Raj Angad Bawa, Manav Parakh, Kaushal Tambe, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Vasu Vats, Vicky Ostwal, Ravi Kumar, Garv Sangwan.
Tim Tector (c), Diarmuid Burke, Joshua Cox, Jack Dickson, Liam Doherty, Jamie Forbes, Daniel Forkin, Matthew Humphreys, Philippus le Roux, Scott MacBeth, Nathan McGuire, Muzamil Sherzad, David Vincent, Luke Whelan, Reuben Wilson.
Match Starts at 6:30 PM IST.