Athletic

Future cricket stars on show as India meet Pakistan in Under 19 World Cup

POTCHEFSTROOM, South Africa,India head into Tuesday's Under 19 World Cup semi-final against Pakistan in Pochefstroom as slight favourites but cricket matches between these two sides are seldom straightforward.

When you talk about India-Pakistan (matches) that brings out an extra

edge to the whole competition, said former India Test player Zaheer Khan in the Indian media.

I am sure the boys will be geared up for the big occasion and they will

do well.

With political relations on a knife-edge, there has been no Test series

between the two countries since 2007/2008 and no white ball series since

2012/2013.

The only time they have come together of late is at international

tournaments.

In 2019, they met at Old Trafford during the ODI World Cup in England

Rohit Sharma's 140 ensuring a comfortable India win.

And now it is the turn of the youngsters, the future stars of

international cricket, to go up against each other in South Africa's North

West province, close to to the Mooi river.

The Indians won their group beating New Zealand and Japan in the process

before going on to hammer Australia by 74 runs in the quarter-final.

Pakistan's group match against Bangladesh who meet New Zealand in the

second semi-final on Thursday was abandoned with Bangladesh in desperate

trouble at 106 for nine. The Pakistanis beat Scotland and Zimbabwe to set up

a quater-final with Afghanistan.

That was another comfortable win in spite of the twitter storm over Afghan

spinner Noor Ahmed running out Muhammad Huraira when he marginally backed up

too far at the bowler's end.

The Indian quartet Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ravi Bishnoi, Akash Singh and Kartik

Tyagi have already found their way into the IPL, each of them making

important contributions in South Africa.

In this World Cup, I bowled very well in the first game but got no

wickets, fast bowler Tyagi, whose four for 24 did for Australia in the last

round, told Cricinfo.

Then the next two games, I bowled poorly but I took wickets. And finally,

against Australia, I bowled well and got rewarded for them.

Ups and downs are the realities of life, so I've stopped thinking about

the wickets column. I have just been focusing on the process.

For all the players at this World Cup, there remains the dream not just of

winning but doing enough to start forging a professional career in the game.

Some big names have trodden this path before: current international

captains Virat Kohli, Eoin Morgan and Kane Williamson all figured at the

tournament in the past along with some of the greats of the recent past,

players such as Brian Lara, Yuvraj Singh, Chris Gayle and Steven Smith.

The stage in Potchefstoom is set to see who if any young Indians or

Pakistanis are likely to join this elite band in the decade ahead.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)