Ryan Harris Terms India As Favorites In ICC U-19 World Cup 2018 Final
By CricShots - Feb 2, 2018 1:02 pm
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With the much-awaited ICC U-19 World Cup final between India and Australia just a few hours away, Australia U-19 coach Ryan Harris reckons the side led by Prithvi Shaw are the favorites going into the match.

Team India practicing hard ahead of final

Speaking in an interview to ESPN Cricinfo, the former Australian pacer said that he will not be intimidated down by the tag of the “underdogs” entering into the final. He said, “I think India have to be favorites. They’ve gone through pretty convincingly in the tournament. But I don’t worry about that, I won’t talk to the boys about being underdogs.”

Also read: Ganguly's high expectations from India u-19 team

Talking about his team’s side strategy, Harris added, “I think their batting is strong at the top, but I don’t think their lower order has been really exposed – I guess our job is to get through those players at the top and get into the lower order. It can go against you but with the way they’re playing, their top order is getting it done, so that’s our job to get through them and expose the lack of cricket the lower order has had.”

Harris also described that Australia can be successful if they can put pressure on India’s middle-order. He said, “I guess our job is for our quicks to get through the top order and put pressure on the middle order. If we do that, we’ll come out successful.”

The Australia U-19 coach further emphasized on the fact that India’s seaming bowling line-up comprising of Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi, who both have impressed with speeds over 140 kph in the tournament. He said, “It’s great to be talking about India and not talk about spin! They’ve got some really good bowlers there that bowl good pace, beautiful actions. I just watched them running into the wicket – it’s so easy for them. It’s great, it’s a challenge for our guys.”

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Ryan also believes the earlier loss in the tournament will boost the morale of the Australians. He said, “The best thing is that these boys were disappointed after the first game. They wanted to face India again and have another crack at them. It’s just great that it’s in a World Cup final. They’re really excited, they want another go at redeeming themselves. India is the in-form side when you’re in the final against the in-form side, that’s what you want to do.”

India will face off against Australia in the ICC U-19 World Cup final on Saturday at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.