U19 World Cup 2018: Afghanistan skipper keeps Asian teams ahead of Australia

Australia stormed into the finals of the tournament.

Naveen-ul-Haq was disappointed after the semi final defeat. (Wisden India)

Post their semi-final defeat against Australia in the U19 World Cup 2018, Afghanistan skipper Naveen-ul-Haq said “India and Pakistan better side than Australia. I can give you that statement.”

This came out as a big statement after their semi-final exit, thereby making a strong statement in the tournament. 

Australian skipper Jason Sangha, however, was quick to reply on the statement of the Afghanistan skipper. “I have no comments – that is their opinion,” Sangha said, slightly taken aback, albeit still sporting a trademark massive grin. “We actually thought the Afghanistan team were quite good. Cricket is a funny game. Doesn’t matter what has happened, it all depends on who is the better team on the day" stated Sangha. 

“It doesn’t bother us at all, we are through to the final and that is all we care about. They had a number of good spinners and they will hopefully be successful in the future. For us, we’re in the final now and we will watch India v Pakistan and go from there" Sangha went on to add further. 

Naveen was perhaps disappointed at the missed opportunity of making history in the U19  world cup campaign. “We could have posted 230 or 240, that would have been a winning total on this pitch,” rued Naveen. “Three batsmen edged down leg and one got a bad decision. We can’t do much about it.”

Australia under Sangha's leadership is in the U19  finals. (Getty)

Meanwhile,  Australian skipper Jason Sangha was very vocal post their famous semi-final win against Afghanistan.  He said that he now excitedly looking forward to playing the final either against India or Pakistan and expects it to be a tough one.

“We have had different challenges and scenarios at the World Cup and we are in the final. We have had the practice in a real game sense and to be able to combat those scenarios has been really satisfying. We are really looking forward to what the final brings, regardless if it’s India or Pakistan.”

Sangha concluded by saying that getting past the spin challenge from either India or Pakistan will be the real challenge in the final. 

“We have been challenged in every scenario and we have come up on top,” he explained. “We have overcome the Afghanistan spinners, so that will give us confidence whoever we meet in the final" concluded Sangha. 

By Anshuman Roy - 29 Jan, 2018

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