The bowlers have dominated U19 CWC finals in previous tournaments.
The ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Final between Australia and India has all the ingredients to be a cracker. India defeated the Aussies by 100 runs in their opening match and have proved unstoppable since, winning five consecutive matches; but Australia have also found their form, claiming impressive victories over England and Afghanistan to take their place in Saturday's showpiece final at the Bay Oval in Tauranga.
Two commanding batting units will be going up against each other but the U19 CWC has a tradition of low-scoring finals, with no side ever reaching 250 in the history of the competition. The highest total scored in a final came 20 years ago, when Owais Shah's England side made 242/3 to chase down New Zealand's 241/6.
The average first-innings total in finals is 187, omitting rain-affected games. Across 50 overs, that amounts to a pedestrian scoring rate of 3.75 runs per over.
In this tournament, Australia have batted first on two occasions with very mixed results – they scored 370 in their hammering of Papua New Guinea, but then only managed 127 in the Super League quarter-finals against England, albeit it was ultimately enough for a 31-run victory.
India, inspired by their captain and Prithvi Shaw and the in-form Shubman Gill, have been superb when assuming the crease first, scoring 328, 265 and 272 en route to the final.
In their group-stage meeting, Australia could not cope with the pace of India’s bowling attack, as Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti tore through the Aussies’ line-up. The Indians will be aiming to continue their record of bowling out every team they've faced so far and if they can do that then the record of low-scoring finals could well be extended for another competition.
With India and Australia both bidding to become the first nation to lift the U19 CWC title for a fourth time, Saturday's final is not one to be missed.
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