U-19 CWC: Warm-up win against Australia will not matter in semis vs Australia, says Dhull

Ahead of their U-19 ICC Cricket World Cup semifinal against Australia, India captain Yash Dhull has said that the huge win against their rivals in a warm-up game last month will not have any “substantial impact” in the last-four game to be played at the Coolidge Cricket Ground on Thursday (IST).

India had crushed the Cooper Connolly-led Aussies by nine wickets in Guyana before the tournament got underway, with Dhull himself scoring an unbeaten half century and the spinners wrecking havoc. However, Dhull feels the differences in conditions and the nature of the wicket make Thursday’s match an incomparable scenario.

“The wicket in the warm-up match against Australia Under-19s was different to the one we will have in the semifinal tomorrow (in Antigua),” said Dhull on the eve of the match.

India are aiming to lift the prestigious trophy for the fifth time and are two wins away from the title. England have already secured the final berth following a thrilling 15-run win against Afghanistan.

“The game will be played depending on the pitch conditions. So, we will only know tomorrow how we will bowl and how we can put Australia under pressure. We will look to play with a positive mindset. We will look to set the target as per the condition of the wicket and the situation of the match,” Dhull told ICC on Wednesday.

He also said that there were no selection worries after the COVID-19 mayhem in the early days of the tournament when five players had tested positive and were unavailable for selection for two matches. Dhull was also laid low by COVID-19, but recovered to produce an excellent display in the quarterfinal win against Bangladesh.

“Everyone is fit and fine and available for selection,” said Dhull.

The skipper also praised team coach VVS Laxman, who scored over 8,000 runs in Test cricket for the senior India team. “VVS Laxman has been sharing his experience with us and been talking about the mindset we need to have. His role has been important for us.”

Meanwhile, Australian skipper Connolly is backing batting prodigy Teague Wyllie to help fire his side against the talented India team in the last-four clash. Connolly feels his team has the ability to get there, particularly if his Western Australia teammate Wyllie can maintain his fine form as the three-week tournament reaches its conclusion.

Wiley has scored 264 runs in four matches and, going into the semifinals, is the fourth-highest run scorer at the World Cup. “I said at the start of the tournament that he (Teague Wyllie) was going to be a big run scorer for us. I backed him as a Western Australia man, I’ve seen him progress all the way from playing as a junior. He is a really talented guy,” said Connolly.

“There is no reason why he can’t continue to do that and I think he can play a big role for us in these last couple of matches.”

The 18-year-old all-rounder also confirmed that facing their toughest opponent so far wouldn’t stop his team from playing positively. Australia chased down a big total in their group win over Scotland before putting 276 runs on the board in the Super League quarterfinal win against Pakistan.

“There is no change from us in approach. We are just going to try and play some good cricket and hopefully we can knock off India. They are a very good side and we know that, but I think if we play our best cricket we can beat them To reach the final would be pretty cool. I spoke to Mitch Marsh briefly about it, because he won the last one for Australia (in 2010) . I’d love to be able to get to that spot and do the same as him,” Connolly added.

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