Mount Maunganui (New Zealand), Jan 15: The odds will be stacked heavily in favour of India when the title contenders, with an eye on securing a knockout berth, meet minnows Papua New Guinea in the ICC U-19 World Cup here tomorrow.
Three-time winners India began the tournament on a rousing note, inflicting a 100-run defeat on a well-knit Australian team yesterday.
With Zimbabwe being the other team in the group, India, with the kind of form they displayed in the sound thrashing of Australia, are expected to progress to knockouts without breaking a sweat.
From the moment India captain Prithvi Shaw won the toss and chose to bat, their opening game went almost exactly to plan, and the script is likely to remain the same at Bay Oval tomorrow.
The likes of Shaw, his opening partner Manjot Kalra, and Shubham Gill with the bat along with the pace duo of Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti could prove to be more than a handful for the Oceanian country.
Eager to prove themselves after their disastrous showing in the Asia Cup, India signalled their intentions first up with a thumping win over a very strong Australian side.
Papua New Guinea have qualified for their eighth World Cup after remaining undefeated in the East Asia Pacific Qualifier in Samoa.
PNG�s last appearance in the World Cup came in 2014 in the United Arab Emirates.
They would be keen to make an impression and show their fighting abilities.
India may be superior in all departments, but they are well aware of PNG�s willingness to make the most of this appearance, and the Rahul Dravid-coached side would look to guard against complacency.
India have been one of the most successful teams through the history of U-19 World Cups, with three titles and two runners-up finishes.
The side finished runners-up in the previous edition in 2016, losing to the West Indies in the title clash, and while a final berth looks realistic enough, a stumble at the last hurdle is what they are looking to avoid this time around. � PTI