India have started the ongoing 15th edition of the ICC Under-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup on a high note after defeating Bangladesh. But, who are they facing next?
As 16 nations take center stage for the coveted title, 41 matches will be played across five venues in South Africa over 24 days. This year, the defending champions India is led by Uday Saharan, a middle-order batter who plays for Punjab in domestic.
In the 2022 edition of the tournament, Yash Dhull’s India had an immaculate run and they lifted the trophy thanks to Ravi Kumar and Raj Bawa’s heroics in the final who stopped the England team in their tracks.
India has managed to win three of the last six tournaments, despite the age-specific format of the competition which assures the appearance of a new group of players with each new edition.
As evidence of their effective youth system, the team has produced players of the highest caliber regularly and has been in every tournament final since 2016. However, the team has never exactly been able to win the World Cup twice in a row. Pakistan is the only country to attain that feat having won in 2004 and 2006.
The 2024 edition presents the young Blues with an opportunity to win their sixth title and become the first since 2006 to successfully defend it.
Who will India face next?
In the opening clash of the group stage against Bangladesh on January 20, India’s Saumy Panday scalped four wickets to steer India to victory by 84 runs at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein. Bangladesh toiled hard as the Indian bowlers dominated the play.
India are set to face Ireland on January 25 at the Mangaung Oval, followed by USA on January 28 at the same venue.
Team India Squad:
Uday Saharan (C), Innesh Mahajan (WK), Arshin Kulkarni, Adarsh Singh, Rudra Mayur Patel, Sachin Dhas, Priyanshu Moliya, Musheer Khan, Aravelly Avanish Rao (WK), Saumy Kumar Pandey (VC), Murugan Abhishek, Dhanush Gowda, Aaradhya Shukla, Raj Limbani and Naman Tiwari