Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2012 Preview

A tournament which unearths future stars and displays the talent crop each cricket playing nations have to the world.

Under-19 world cup is a brainchild of Australian cricket board. It first debuted in Australia as youth world cup on 1987-88 but then went off the fray for next 10 years. International cricket council then revived the tournament as they took control of all cricket related matters and announced it will be held for every two years. From then onwards, 7 U19 world cups were held at 6 different nations across the globe with New Zealand being the only nation to host it twice (2002 and 2010). No surprises that Australians were the most successful team at U-19 world cups with three world cups. It was followed by Pakistan and India with two world cups respectively. England had won the U-19 world cup once when it held at South Africa in 1997-98.

2012 U-19 cricket world cup, Australia (August 11th to 26th)
Top two from each group will qualify for super league quarter-finals from then, it will be held in knocked out format to decide the U-19 world cup winner. Bottom two finishing teams in each group will play for plate championship (9th-16th places) whereas those get knocked out in quarters and semis will play in super league play-offs (3rd-8th places).

Group A Group B Group C Group D
Australia Pakistan West Indies Sri Lanka
England New Zealand India South Africa
Nepal Scotland Zimbabwe Bangladesh
Ireland Afghanistan Papua New Guinea Namibia

Group Preview
Barring group D, all other groups gives a easy ride for top two teams as in the order listed at above table.

Winner will come from either Group A or C.

D is the group of death certainly. With all matches being held in Brisbane, South Africa holds the edge. The match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will decide who finishes second in the group D unless SA under perform. Namibia on their day in U19 circuit has potential to cause upset.

Australia and England were given a easy group to deal with, whereas Pakistan landed in a tricky group that has always competent New Zealand team and emerging Afghanistan team in them. Group C is virtually fight between West Indies and India for who finishes first in the group.

Team Chances and Prediction

The defending and three time champions Australia along with Pakistan, who arguably the most consistent team in U-19 world cup history are favourites to win this year edition.

Chand batting will decide the match result for Indian U-19 team

Australia won all their three world cups on their own backyard (continent) and now being host again, they not only look to defend but also win back-back titles with help from key players such as Patterson, Travis Head and captain Will Bosisto. Pakistan U-19 team are in sublime form recently. They shared the Asia cup with India in June and won the three match youth ODI series 2-1 against Australian U-19 team in Australia couple of weeks ago. Pakistan’s batsmen Sami Aslam is the player to watch out along with Indian captain Unmukt Chand and Australia’s Travis Head in the tournament.

Indian team batting rallies around captain Unmukt Chand, Baba Aparajith and Vijay Zol. Indian bowling looks good with couple of genuine all-rounders in the team. India is also in good form with Asia cup win (shared) and quadrangular tournament win at Australia in April. Like their senior team, Indian U19 team chances depends on how well they bat, even though they bat deep.

West Indies is the dark horse of the tournament. They will be lead by Brathwaite who has 9 international test match experience under his belt. With five fast bowlers in which two are genuine, West Indies poses a threat to opponents in pitches favouring bounce and swing. They already began well by defeating (bowling out) host Australia in warm-up matches. South Africa, New Zealand and England hold outside chances.

Townsville hosts all knockout matches (quarters, semis and finals). So, teams in Group A (Australia) and C (India and West Indies) will have slight advantage since they play all their group matches at Townsville.

Australia will reach final with a favourable draw helping them out. Pakistan, India and West Indies will fight out against one other in quarters and semis on their way to final.

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