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U19 WC 2022: Aus vs WI kick off the tournament while SL takes on Sco 

The 2022 edition of the ICC Under-19 World Cup is set to kick off from January 14 in the Caribbean. Bangladesh were crowned the champions in the previous edition in 2019-20, where they had defeated India in the final. 

The 14th edition of the Under-19 World Cup will witness 48 matches played across four venues in the Caribbean. As many as 16 teams will battle for the title, with four-time champions India amongst the favourites to lift the trophy. The group stage matches will be played between January 14-22 while the plate stage is slated from January 25. The tournament will conclude with the final taking place on February 5. 

When and where to watch the U19 World Cup 2022 in India

The hosts West Indies will take on Australia in the opening game of this U19 WC, with Sri Lanka and Scotland battling it out at the same time. The matches will start at 7:30 PM IST and you can watch them on Star Sports Network and Disney+ Hotstar. 

Here are the previews of the two matches on Day 1 of the edition.

West Indies U19s vs Australia U19s 

West Indies and Australia form Group D of the tournament along with Sri Lanka and Scotland. The Windies and Australian U19 boys will face off at Providence stadium in Guyana. 

Ackeem Auguste will lead the Windies side. The current batch of U19 players have played 10 youth ODIs together from September 2021, six against England and four against South Africa. They lost the England series by 4-2 but managed to draw the SA series 2 apiece. 

This Australian U19 group, led by Cooper Connolly, hasn’t played any youth ODIs since the last World Cup. They played one warmup game against India on Tuesday, where they scored 268 and lost by nine wickets. 

As far as the head to head record is concerned, Australia have had the upper hand in the U19 matches, winning nine out of 16 matches. The West Indies have won five games while the remaining one ended in no result. WI had defeated Australia in the last WC group stage match by three wickets. 

Captain and Vice-captain 

Cooper Connolly will be playing his second Under-19 World Cup and has done well in the age-group cricket. He had scored 64 off 53 in his last WC game against the Windies. Connolly scored a brilliant 117 off 125 in the warm-up game against India. He’s in good form and looks like the best bet for captaincy. 

Johann Layne, a promising right arm pacer from Barbados, has done well for the Windies in the two series in the lead up to this WC. He has taken 12 wickets across eight games against England and South Africa at a strike rate of 24.5. Layne claimed 3/51 in the first warmup game against India and should be a solid VC pick.  

Other Key Players 

Teddy Bishop has a fantastic record in the youth ODIs, where he has played 10 matches. The West Indies no. 3 has scored 389 runs at an average of 43 while striking at 83. He has scored one hundred and a fifty in these games. Bishop is in excellent touch and will be a key player in the tournament opener. 

Matthew Nandu opens the innings for West Indies and bowls handy off-spin. He has scored 223 runs across nine youth ODIs at an average of 32, including two fifties. He has also picked six wickets at an economy of 4.27. Nandu looked good in the first warmup game, scoring a fifty against the Indian bowling attack. 

Nivethan Radhakrishnan has created quite a buzz in recent times for his remarkable journey. He’s an ambidextrous spinner, who bowls fingerspin with his dominant right hand as well as left hand. He also adds batting depth in the side and should be a must-pick in the MPL XI. 

MPL Fantasy XI 

Scotland U19s vs Sri Lanka U19s

The second game of the Under-19 World Cup 2021-22 will witness Scotland take on Sri Lanka in a Group D fixture. The two teams will clash at the Everest Cricket Club Ground in Georgetown, Guyana. 

Sri Lanka U19s team have had a fantastic preparation for the tournament, playing five-match series against Bangladesh and England, followed by the U19 Asia Cup. Sri Lanka, led by Dunith Wellalage, hammered Bangladesh by 5-0 and went on to defeat England by 3-2. They reached the final of the Asia Cup but were smashed by India.  

Scotland U19s secured their place in this WC by claiming the second spot in Europe region qualifiers in September 2021. They won two matches and lost one in a group comprising Ireland, Netherlands and Jersey. All-rounder Charlie Peet will lead the side in this tournament while Tomas Mackintosh will be his deputy. 

Scotland and Sri Lanka have only faced each other twice in U19 cricket, with a gap of 14 years between the two fixtures. Sri Lanka have won both the games and the most recent one was a 97-run victory in the 2019-20 WC

Captain and Vice-captain 

Dunith Wellalage is amongst the most talented young players in Sri Lanka. He has played 19 youth ODIs and has picked 31 wickets at a strike rate of 28. The left arm orthodox spinner has been in superb form, picking 19 scalps from the last 10 matches. Wellalage is a must-have player in the MPL XI and is a great pick for captaincy. 

Raveen de Silva has played 22 youth ODIs for Sri Lanka and has done well. He has picked 18 wickets at an economy of 4.44 with best figures of 3/6 and has scored 292 runs at an average of 21. The leg-break bowler was excellent in the first warmup game against Ireland, picking 2/16 in four overs. Raveen de Silva, with his all-round skill set, can be a good VC option. 

Other Key Players 

Oliver Davidson is a slow left arm orthodox spinner, who has done incredibly well in the age group. He was sensational in the Europe region qualifiers, picking 14 scalps from just four matches. Davidson picked three three-fers and a five-wicket haul. Davidson was the only successful bowler for Scotland in the warm-up game against Ireland, picking 3 for 27. 

Pawan Pathiraja bats in the middle order and has done well for the Sri Lankan U19 team. He has scored 389 runs from 12 youth ODIs at an average of 35, including one hundred and three fifties. Pathiraja smashed a 72-ball 86 in the Asia Cup only a couple of weeks back and is in good touch. 

Tomas Mackintosh is an attacking middle order batter with a lot of potential. He has played six youth ODIs and has scored 109 runs at an average of just over 18 while striking at 108, including one fifty. In the Europe region qualifiers, Mackintosh scored 80 runs at an average of 20 and if he can convert the starts, he could be a very good pick. 

MPL Fantasy XI 

Note: The players recommended here need not be a part of the Playing 11 on game day. Users are advised to do their own research also and follow official sources and create their teams

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