No dearth of passion or pace as India and Pakistan clash in ICC Under-19 World Cup semi-final

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India and Pakistan clashes are never short of drama and the intensity reaches another level when teenagers are involved. The ICC Under-19 World Cup semi-final on Tuesday will see a clash between the traditional subcontinent rivals and the eyes of fans in the two countries and across the globe will be on the game.

While victory will mean an entry into the final, brilliant individual performances will get noticed by senior management. With that in mind, here are the three key match-ups at the India-Pakistan semi-final.

PRITHVI SHAW v HASAN KHAN

The captains have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. They have to keep their players focused, deliver themselves and also ensure players don’t cross the line in the heat of the moment.

While Shaw has been wonderful at the top, hitting 191 runs from three innings, Hasan has chipped in with seven wickets from four games and reached double digits with the bat in every innings. How they handle the pressure of an India-Pakistan game will prove their leadership skills.

SHUBMAN GILL v ALI ZARYAB

India top order batsman is on a high. He has accumulated 239 runs from just three games and now also has an IPL contract worth $280,000. The lanky batsman uses his reach to good effect and can easily clear the infield.

Zaryab was hailed as ‘The Wall’ of the Pakistan team by captain Hasan after the middle-order batsman hit an unbeaten 74 against South Africa in the quarter-final. Has 163 runs from three outings so far.

KAMLESH NAGARKOTI v SHAHEEN AFRIDI

The biggest showdown of them all. Two of the quickest bowlers in the tournament and the most exciting prospects in the world.

India pacer Kamlesh Nagarkoti has created a buzz in the cricketing world by clocking speeds over 145kph on a regular basis at the U19 World Cup. His breathtaking pace and spot-on yorkers have earned him seven wickets from four matches. He will surely crank it up for the big game.

While Nagarkoti was a bit of an unknown name before the World Cup, Afridi had already made a name for himself by capturing nine wickets in his first-class debut and drawing comparisons with fellow left-arm quick Mitchell Starc. The 6’5” left-arm quick will give it his all to make an impression against India.

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Fast bowlers from India and Pakistan making waves at the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2018

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The ongoing ICC Under-19 World Cup 2018 is throwing up some sensational performances with the bat and ball.

While competition is intense with teams aiming for victory, the overall aim of the youth tournament is to provide a platform for youngsters to grab the attention of their national selectors for opportunities at senior level.

Keeping that in mind, here are three fast bowlers who have set the stage on fire with their pace and swing in New Zealand.

SHAHEEN AFRIDI

The Pakistan left-arm pacer is quickly developing into a complete fast bowler. Having picked up nine wickets on his first-class debut last year, the 17-year-old gave a glimpse of his class to the world against Ireland, finishing with figures of 6-15 which is the best by a Pakistan bowler at under-19 level.

One look at his bowling and you know he is the real deal, forcing batsmen to duck and leave. If you want to see more examples of what the 6’5” pacer is capable of, click here.

KAMLESH NAGARKOTI

Standing at 5’8”, the 18-year-old India pacer doesn’t look like a typical fast bowler. But with the ball in hand, the wiry cricketer turns into a beast capable of bowling entire spells well over the 140kph mark.

While there is some debate surrounding the speed gun used at the World Cup, the pace generated by Nagarkoti forced former India captain Sourav Ganguly and ex-West Indies pacer Ian Bishop to take notice.

He’s claimed four wickets in total so far and what’s more surprising is that Nagarkoti has just recovered from a shoulder tear. Click here to see his best against the Aussies.

SHIVAM MAVI

Another Indian fast bowler surprising one and all with his pace and swing, the 19-year-old Mavi rattled Australia and Papua New Guinea to finish with five wickets from two games.

The right-armer has gained a lot of knowledge bowling to Afghanistan’s batsmen during their training sessions in the northern Indian city of Greater Noida. Indeed, his fastest ball at the tournament clocked at 146kph. He will without doubt be on the radar of every franchise during the upcoming IPL player auctions.

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Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi shine in India's Under-19 World Cup opener

Ashish Peter 15/01/2018
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Kamlesh Nagarkoti touched 149 kph in India's win over Australia.

India opened their ICC Under-19 World Cup campaign in style with a 100-run win over Australia at Tauranga on Sunday.

Skipper Prithvi Shaw‘s 94-run knock set the foundation of India’s total of 328-7.

The 18-year-old has continued to live up to the hype of his supreme talents after hitting a record-breaking 546 four years ago.

However, the most pleasing aspects of the Indian colts’ win over Australia were the displays of pacers Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti.

Both youngsters picked up three-wickets each but it was the numbers they clocked on the speed gun that raised eyebrows.

The duo regularly bowled around the 145 kph mark and had the Aussie batmen beaten for pace multiple times.

More than the raw speed, it was the smoothness in the actions of both the right-armed quicks that paints the picture of a bright future ahead of them.

Nagarkoti fastest delivery of the match was clocked at 149 kph while Mavi touched 146 kph.

Nagarkoti, an 18-year-old, hails from Rajasthan and has already created history when he became the first-ever bowler from the state to take a List-A hat-trick last year.

Mavi, a 19-year-old from Uttar Pradesh, is more than capable with the bat to complement his bowling.

Shivam Mavi is more than handy with the bat too.

Shivam Mavi is more than handy with the bat too.

The pair’s effortlessness in generating such pace is a positive sign for the future of Indian cricket which has always been thirsting for genuine speedsters.

While the likes of Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah all bowl above the 140 kph mark, India have not had a splendid history with premium fast-bowlers.

Many young guns have been touted to be the next big thing in fast-bowling only to later disappear or fizzle out into medium-pacers over the course of their careers.

The likes of Munaf Patel and Varun Aaaron spring to mind when talking about such cases.

Hence, the emergence of the Mavi and Nagarkoti and their effortless ease bodes well for the future and one hopes that the BCCI will do their best to nurture this natural gift and not let it go to waste.

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