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ICC U-19 World Cup 2020 Team Preview: Australia enter the tournament with one of the strongest squads on paper

Coach: Chris Rogers

Captain: Mackenzie Harvey

Previous Edition: Second

Best Finish : Champions (1988, 2002 and 2010)

Team Overview: Australia enjoyed quite a successful run in 2018 until they stumbled in the final hurdle against a strong Indian U-19 outfit. So they would be eager to make amends this time around and they have assembled a strong enough squad on paper in order to achieve what they missed out on last time.

The squad consists of some highly talented players, some of whom have even tasted cricket at the senior level to quite a good extent. However, their coaching personnel consisting of two experienced veterans — Chris Rogers and Ryan Harris — is what increases our expectations from this side. Their involvement means that the young colts are in the hands of two of the finest cricketers Australia has seen over the years and they would give their best efforts to extract the best out of these boys.

The side will feature in the tournament under the able leadership of Mackenzie Harvey, the nephew of former Australia cricketer Ian Harvey. The young gun is a top-order batsman who enjoyed a successful run opening the innings for Melbourne Renegades in Aaron Finch’s absence during their title-winning campaign in 2019. Harvey also has a mammoth youth ODI average of 89.50 and that puts him in good stead for this tournament. 

Apart from Harvey, Ollie Davies is another batting talent Australia can boast about. Davies smashed a double-down of just 113 deliveries in last year’s U-19 National Championship and also set the tone for this tournament with an unbeaten 94 off just 27 deliveries in the warm-up game against Canada. The side, however, consists of a classy leg-spinner too. Tanveer Sangha, brother of last edition’s U-19 captain Jason Sangha, is probably the best of the three specialist spinners in the squad and he would be eager to start off from where Lloyd Pope left it in the last edition. 

It remains to be seen though whether Rogers and Co. would be able to get these talents working together. Australia has played only seven youth ODIs since the 2018 edition of the tournament. Only the West Indies and Zimbabwe have played fewer matches than them. So it remains to be seen how they make up for it.

Squad

Mackenzie Harvey (c), Cooper Connolly, Oliver Davies, Sam Fanning, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Lachlan Hearne, Corey Kelly, Liam Marshall, Todd Murphy, Patrick Rowe (wk), Tanveer Sangha, Liam Scott, Bradley Simpson, Connor Sully, Matthew Willans

Fixtures

Saturday, January 18: Australia v West Indies (De Beers Diamond Oval, Kimberley)

Monday, January 20: Australia v Nigeria (Country Club B Field, Kimberley)

Thursday, January 23: Australia v England (De Beers Diamond Oval)

Prasenjit Dey is freelance cricket journalist based out of Kolkata, India. Cricket runs through his veins and writing has always been his passion. He is now a part of both worlds, trying to make a difference by writing on the nitty-gritty of the game.

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