ICC Men's U19 World Cup: Unbeaten India a strong contender in the semi-final match against South Africa

Red-hot India will be favorites to make it to the final of the ongoing Under-19 World Cup when they take on hosts South Africa in the first semi-final here on Tuesday.

Defending champions India enter the semi-finals on the back of five consecutive wins in the tournament, with their exciting talent producing excellent all-round performances to ensure their dominance.

It would be difficult to point to a single force behind India's spectacular wins in all departments, especially in the last few games.

If the batsmen have buried the opponents under a mountain of runs, the bowlers have delivered a minimum win of more than 130 runs in terms of margin.

With two centuries and a half-century, 18-year-old Mushir Khan has made a splash in the tournament as he tops the list of highest run-scorers in this edition with 334 runs at an average of 83.50 in five matches.

Read | India vs England, 2nd Test

India's captain Uday Saharan is at the forefront, who, for example, has scored 304 runs at an average of 61.60 with the help of two half-centuries and one century.

Sachin Dhaas has also given a good example when he scored 116 runs in India's last Super Six match against Nepal when his team was in a difficult position at 62 runs for three wickets.

So far, each of India's opponents have found it difficult to score runs thanks to India vice-captain and left-arm spinner Soumya Kumar Pandey, whose impressive economy rate of 2.17 has helped him take 16 wickets with three fours, Due to which he is at third place in the list. One of the most successful bowlers of this World Cup.

Pandey's ability to contain opposition batsmen with powerful lines and lengths in the powerplay has allowed India to dominate proceedings with the ball in hand.

Pandey's accuracy has also helped the seamers, with Naman Tiwary (9 wickets) and Raj Limbani (4 wickets) doing well from the other end.

Apart from India's win, their recent success against South Africa also makes them favorites to make the final, which could witness a potentially blockbuster India-Pakistan clash.

Pakistan will take on Australia in the second semi-final at Willowmoor Park here.

Before starting the World Cup campaign, India had defeated South Africa while chasing in two consecutive ODIs of the tri-series, which will give confidence to the Saharan-led side.

However, knockout games bring a different kind of pressure and the first semi-final could be a battle between India's in-form batsmen and on-song South African fast bowler Kwena Mafaka.

With three five-wicket hauls in five matches, Mafaka not only tops the list of bowlers with 18 wickets, but has single-handedly ensured South Africa's impressive victories in the last two matches. The left-arm fast bowler took 6 wickets for 21 runs against Sri Lanka in South Africa's last Super Six match.

Teams (from)

India: Uday Saharan (captain), Arshin Kulkarni, Adarsh ​​Singh, Rudra Mayur Patel, Sachin Dhas, Priyanshu Molia, Musheer Khan, Aravali Avnish Rao (wk), Soumya Kumar Pandey, Murugan Abhishek, Inesh Mahajan (wk), Dhanush Gowda, Aaradhya Shukla, Raj Limbani and Naman Tiwari.

South Africa: Juan James (captain), Esosa Ehevba, Raic Daniels, Kwena Mafaka, Dewan Marais, Nqobani Mokoena, Riley Norton, Romashan Pillay, Sipho Potsane, Ntando Juma (wk), Luan-Dre Pretorius (wk), Richard Seletswane. Steve Stoke, David Teiger, Oliver Whitehead.

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