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ICC U-19 World Cup: Indian skipper Ishan Kishan confident ahead of final against West Indies

India start as firm favourites to clinch their fourth Under-19 World Cup in the final against West Indies on Sunday.

India Ishan Kishan Under 19 Cricket West Indies
The two skippers pose with the Under-19 World Cup trophy ahead of the final on Sunday

With hosts Bangladesh defeating Sri Lanka in the third-place playoff on Saturday the stage is all set for the final of the 2016 Under-19 World Cup final between India and West Indies. With the three-time champions in outstanding form and oozing with confidence under the guidance of Rahul Dravid, Indian skipper Ishan Kishan is well and truly prepared for the final showdown.  

Kishan is wary of the pressure his team is under as they start firm favourites – Scientific astrologer Greenstone Lobo thinks so too – against a West Indies side which scrapped through to the final after a close victory over the hosts, Bangladesh. 

“We are set for tomorrow,” said India captain Ishan Kishan, as reported by icc-cricket.com. “There is obviously tension before every match and this is the World Cup final. We have reached our goal, now we need to achieve that goal.”

Though confident about his side’s chances in the final, Ishan gave credit to the opposition for reaching the penultimate stage of the competition and is expecting a tough contest.

“The West Indies too has been playing well. It will be a good game. We just need to follow our plans. We can't think too far ahead,” he said.

We are not worried about any bowler: Kishan

Responding to queries as to how the Indian team were planning to counter the fiery West Indian fast bowler Alzaari Joseph, who has been clocking regularly speeds above the 145kmph mark, Kishan said that his side was not worried about the prospect and added that his plan would to be bat first and post a big total upon winning the toss. 

“We are not worried about facing any bowler,” he said. “The plan is to keep wickets in hand. If we do that we can get a big score on the board. 280 should be a good score, we will try for 300.” 

West Indies skipper Shimron Hetmyer meanwhile said that he was happy with his side’s comeback in the tournament having begun on a disappointing note with a 61-run loss to England. 

“We have turned into a very good unit. We have a very good bunch of cricketers with us. The journey has been good. We just need to keep it simple and play our best cricket in the final,” Hetmyer said. 

He added that he was looking forward to the contest against India and promised to give their all on Sunday.  

“India is obviously a good team and we are excited about playing the final. It is a good feeling to have reached the final. We have come a long way in the last few months,” he said. “We will give it our best shot. Win or lose, the players will benefit immensely from the experience of taking part in the tournament.”

Hetmyer had this to say when he was asked how tough the prospect of playing an undefeated Indian side in the final looked like.  

“In the semi-finals we played Bangladesh, which had also not lost a match, and we won that game. So I don’t think it matters what happened in the past,” he said.

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