U-19 World Cup: Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti to bring pace attack to Pakistan

Updated: Jan 30, 2018, 11:20 IST | Gaurav Joshi

For a change, India boast of not one, but two pacers capable of outdoing arch-rivals Pakistan in today's ICC U-19 World Cup semi-final in NZ

India U-19 pacer Shivam Mavi has impressed many with his pace
India U-19 pacer Shivam Mavi has impressed many with his pace

It is not often that one enters an Indian restaurant in a city hosting an India-Pakistan cricket encounter and discovers that the majority of the public sitting inside are totally unaware of the match. It might only be the U-19 World Cup, but the lack of interest in the city of Christchurch, is a bit mystifying.

Pacer Kamlesh Nagarkoti
Pacer Kamlesh Nagarkoti

While the lack of interest off the field might be a unique scenario, on the field, the game is also breaking a usual trend. Generally, the discussion before an India-Pakistan match often circulates around Pakistan's pacers and how the Indian batsmen will have to cope with them. But this time around, the the pace bowling boots are on different feet.

Perhaps for the first time, it is India who boast of fast bowlers capable of outdoing their neighbours. Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi have impressed many during this World Cup with their ability to rattle the opposition with some express pace.

Speed barriers breached
Both pacers have breached the 140kmph barrier consistently throughout the tournament. And strangely enough, Pakistan possess just the six-foot-five Shaheen Afridi to offer a burst of speed.Not only do the Indian pacers have the upper hand in terms of pace, but they have also shown in the first four matches that they are more than capable of knocking down stumps too. Of the 18 wickets taken by the Indian seamers so far, nine have been bowled. This means that the Indian boys are lethal when it comes to hitting the stumps accurately and with late swing — an art that is traditionally associated more with Pakistan's pace battery.

Pakistan unperturbed
On the eve of the match however, Pakistan captain, Hasan Khan played down the fact that Indian fast bowlers were quicker than his lot. "I don't think that matters to be honest. At the end of day, we have to play the ball that is bowled down the pitch regardless of the pitch. So, it's just about watching it and hitting it," he said.

Khan might be right, but as many Indian teams have found out in the past, that's easier said than done. So, with the shoe on the other foot today, it could well be a case of Indian pacers terrorising the Pakistani batsman rather than the other way round.

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