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Australia face India in the U19 World Cup final
CWC-U19

U19 CWC Final Preview: Australia U19s v India U19s

ICC U19 CWC, match preview

Australia and India face off in the final of the Under 19 World Cup at the Bay Oval in Tauranga on Saturday.

Form guide

Both sides will be full of confidence coming into the final, having completed big wins in the semi-finals. Australia comfortably beat Afghanistan by six wickets, bowling them out for 181 and chasing the total inside 38 overs, while India thrashed rivals Pakistan, posting 272/9 from their 50 overs before dismantling the opposition, dismissing them for just 69.

While both sides have been impressive throughout the tournament, India will believe they have edge, being the only unbeaten side in the competition. Furthermore, Australia's only defeat came against India in the sides' first game of the competition back on 14 January.

The Group B fixture saw India's top-order batting fire excellently, with openers Prithvi Shaw (94) and Manjot Khalra (86) putting on an opening stand of 180. India made an imposing 328/7 from their 50 overs before their bowlers dismissed the Australians for 228 to secure a 100-run win.    

Since then, however, Australia have been ruthless, beating Zimbabwe, Papua New Guinea, England and Afghanistan, with their bowling attack taking the full 10 wickets in each match. As well as beating Australia in the first game, India have defeated Papua New Guinea, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Pakistan. 

Players to watch

Lloyd Pope (Aus)

The young leg-spinner made headlines around the world for his remarkable display against England in the quarter-final. After Australia had been bowled out for 127, the 18-year-old produced a stunning spell of bowling, taking 8/35 - the best U19 World Cup figures of all time - to dismiss England for 96 and reach the semi-finals. Australia wouldn't be in the final without Pope and they will be hoping he can reproduce his brilliance a final time and add to his 11 wickets in the tournament. 

Video
Lloyd Pope's historic 8/35 against England

Shubman Gill (Ind)

Shubman Gill is averaging 170 at the U19 World Cup. In four innings he has been dismissed just twice, scoring 341 runs at a strike-rate of 113.28. India's No.3 scored 102 from 94 balls in the semi-final win over Pakistan to add to his scores of 63, 90* and 86. To say Gill is in form would be an understatement and if Australia are to become the first side to beat India, they will need to find a way of stopping the 18-year-old from scoring.

Video
Shubman Gill's 102* v Pakistan in the U19CWC semi-final

World Cup history

Australia have quite the pedigree in U19 Cricket World Cups, having won the first edition in 1988, as well as 2002 and 2010 titles. International players Stuart Law, George Bailey, Shaun Marsh and Josh Hazlewood have been among previous Aussie players to make a name for themselves at the competition.

India have also won three titles, claiming titles in 2000, 2008 and 2012. Their first competition win owed a lot to Player of the Tournament Yuvraj Singh, while Shikhar Dhawan won the same accolade in 2004, only for India to be pipped to the trophy by rivals Pakistan. Current Test skipper Virat Kohli captained the 2008 side, while India also narrowly lost in the final in 2016 to West Indies.

A fourth title is up for grabs for both sides on Saturday. 

Head to head

India got the better of Australia in their last meeting back on January 14 in their Group B opener. They also won in the last U19 World Cup final meeting between the two sides in 2012. Despite playing at home in Townsville, Australia slipped to a six-wicket loss to India. A side containing Travis Head, Cameron Bancroft, Ashton Turner and Gurinder Sandu were beaten by an Indian team which included Unmukt Chand and Sandeep Sharma.

The Bay Oval in Tauranga will host the U19 World Cup final
The Bay Oval in Tauranga will host the U19 World Cup final

Forecast

The weather looks good in Tauranga for Saturday, with sunshine and 24 degrees forecast, meaning interruptions appear unlikely. 

Squads

Australia: Jason Sangha (c), Will Sutherland, Xavier Bartlett, Max Bryant, Jack Edwards, Zak Evans, Jarrod Freeman, Ryan Hadley, Baxter Holt (wk), Nathan McSweeney, Jonathan Merlo, Lloyd Pope, Jason Ralston, Param Uppal, Austin Waugh.

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.

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