shubman gill

India is pinning its hopes on right-handed batsman Shubman Gill (pictured) in the semi-finals of the U-19 World Cup match against arch-rivals Pakistan. (Getty Images)

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (IANS) — After registering victories by big margins in their previous matches, in-form India will aim to outclass arch-rivals Pakistan in the semi-final of the Under 19 World Cup at the Hagley Oval here Jan. 30.

The winners of the semi-finals will take on Australia in the final match. Australia produced an all-round performance with the bat and ball to register a 6-wicket victory over Afghanistan in the semi-final contest to enter the U-19 World Cup Super League final.

Going into the semi-finals, India leads the head-to-head battle 12-8 against Pakistan at the Under 19 level. One match finished in a tie.

The last meeting between the two sides was at the 2014 U-19 World Cup where batsman Sanju Samson scored 68 runs to set up a win for India.

India had outclassed Australia, Papua New Guinea and Zimbabwe before defeating Bangladesh in the quarter-final to book itself a semi-final spot.

Pakistan, on the other hand, lost to Afghanistan before defeating Ireland, Sri Lanka and South Africa to reach the semis.

In the batting department, India will bank on their right-handed batsman Shubman Gill, who has batted three times and passed 50 on each occasion. He has also scored most runs for the Indians in the tournament.

The bowling will, however, rely on Anukul Roy, who is the leading wicket-taker for the side with 11 wickets from his four matches. Roy is a slow left arm orthodox bowler.

Pakistan, who struggled to get runs on the board in the first game against Afghanistan, have come good with their batsmen Ali Zaryab Asif and Rohail Nazir leading the way with three 50s between them.

However, pacer Shaheen Afridi, who is the leading wicket-taker for Pakistan, will need to be on song against the in-form Indian batting line-up to help his side produce a positive result.

Squads:

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.

Pakistan: Hasan Khan (c), Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Ali Khan, Ammad Alam, Zaid Alam, Ali Zaryab, Arshad Iqbal, Muhammad Mohsin Khan, Muhammad Musa, Saad Khan, Rohail Nazir (wk), Munir Riaz, Suleman Shafqat, Imran Shah, Mohammad Taha.

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