Lincoln, January 13: This is actually a contest that worth a final. India and Australia have won the ICC Under-19 World Cup thrice each and boast of some real good talents.
But the quirk is that they are facing each other in a preliminary stage clash in Group B, partly also owing to Australia's reluctance to send the team for the U19 World Cup held in Bangladesh in 2016.
Coached by Rahul Dravid and led by prolific Prithvi Shaw, India are certainly one of the favourites. But against Australia such things hardly matter as a cracker of a contest looms in front of us.
Don't take your eyes off.
India had a mixed year. They marched all over England in a limited over series but had a horror Asia Cup. They had lost even to Nepal and a defeat against Bangladesh send them crashing
Australia went through a similar patch. They had beaten England 4-1 but had lost to Pakistan 0-2.
Players to watch out for
Prithvi Shaw: The Mumbai batsman has scored heavily during the Ranji Trophy season that prompted many anoint him as the next batting wonder from Mumbai. His outings will be closely watched.
Llyod Pope: The young leg-spinner has already made some headlines back in Australia while bagging three wickets in each of the three matches against Sri Lanka. But against India can he repeat the outings? It will be interesting to watch.
What they said?
Shaw: "We've been here a week now, played a couple of games. Everything has gone well, the preparation of the team has been good. Our goal is obviously to win the World Cup but at the same time we are looking forward to our first game.
Dravid: We've been playing some very good cricket of late, so rather than focusing on individuals and naming a few people, at this age we really believe that every one of these kids is talented. They've got the ability to go on and do well in this tournament, and not only in this tournament but also to go on and play professional cricket and do well there.
There could be patches of rain and a full match looks very unlikely.
Teams (from): India: Prithvi Shaw (Captain), 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.
Australia: Jason Sangha (Captain), Will Sutherland, Xavier Bartlett, Max Bryant, Jack Edwards, Zak Evans, Jarrod Freeman, Ryan Hadley, Baxter Holt, Nathan McSweeney, Jonathan Merlo, Lloyd Pope, Jason Ralston, Param Uppal, Austin Waugh.
Where to watch?
India vs Australia
ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup
Live on Star Sports 1, HD1 and Hotstar
At 6.15 am (Toss at 5.45 am)