As Virat Kohli and Company lock horns with New Zealand at Auckland in the first T20 International of the five-match series, Indian Colts are all set to take on the junior Kiwis in the ICC Under-19 World Cup Group A encounter in Bloemfontein.
In fact India and New Zealand are engaged in three different cricket matches today (Friday) as India A will also be engaged with the hosts in a one-dayer at Christchurch.
The U-19 World Cup Group A match between Indian and the Kiwis gets underway less than an hour after Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson lead their sides out in the middle in Auckland.
After having gone through motions against Japan in their last encounter, the Indian Colts face some real challenge in their quest to defend the ICC Under-19 World Cup crown.
India are comfortably placed atop the Group A table with four points from wins over Sri Lanka and Japan in their two outings so fare. The Kiwis have been unlucky to split a point with Japan due to the washed out game and they were driven to the brink against Sri Lanka for a must-needed win to keep their hopes alive.
Even as the Indian bowlers had bowled the entire teams out in the matches against Sri Lanka and Japan, they will face their real test today. The Kiwis have some good talent in their line-up, but they had failed to impress as a team during their win over Sri Lanka.
The Indian Colts on form and reputation appear favourites against Sri Lanka in their quest to seal a knockout round berth. However, to justify that billing they will have to deliver for a better part of 100 overs in Bloemfontein.
Both the teams have assured themselves of a coveted berth in the Super Eight round. However, the match still is significant enough not just from the point of maintain the winning run, but the ground standings will also determine which team they meet first in the next round.
The weather in Bloemfontein today (Friday) might disappoint the teams and their fans.
India U19: Priyam Garg (c), Kartik Tyagi, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Vidyadhar Patil, Tilak Varma, Shubhang Hegde, Divyansh Saxena, Ravi Bishnoi, Shashwat Rawat, Dhruv Jurel, Siddhesh Veer, Akash Singh, Atharva Ankolekar, Sushant Mishra, Kumar Kushagra.
New Zealand U19: Jesse Tashkoff (c), Adithya Ashok, Kristian Clarke, Hayden Dickson, Joey Field, Rhys Mariu, Ben Pomare, Ollie White, David Hancock, Fergus Lellman, Quinn Sunde, Simon Keene, Nicholas Lidstone, William O’Rourke, Beckham Wheeler-Greenall