MOUNT MAUNGANUI, New Zealand: Ahead of their Under-19 World Cup final against India, the talk in the Australian camp has been around having to negotiate Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi, two of the fastest bowlers in the competition who have consistently clocked in excess of 140kph.
“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,” Ryan Harris, Australia’s head coach, said.
The Australian team has gone through a number of sessions plotting and planning against India. In both the knockout matches so far, their middle order has stuttered, only to be steered expertly by Shubman Gill. Riyan Parag, India’s designated No. 5 batsman and finisher, hasn’t quite hit top form yet since recovering from a finger injury while the only half-century Harvik Desai has hit came in a low-pressure chase against Zimbabwe. This is the one chink Australia want to expose.
“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,” Harris said.
In the tournament opener between the same teams, Australia conceded 328 and then saw the top order collapse to swing before spinners strangulated the lower order.None of their batsmen feature anywhere close to the top 10 run-scorers in the tournament.