India’s impressive batting helps them to an emphatic World Cup win
It was a dominant performance right through the tournament by the eventual champions.
India became the most successful nation in under 19 world cup history when they defeated Australia convincingly by 8 wickets at picturesque Mount Maunganui.
Truth be told, it was a lopsided final, especially in the run chase. Australia threatened to get in front in the match in their first 10 overs, especially when opener Jack Edwards got on a bit of a roll hitting 5 boundaries in the couple of overs before he was caught at cover.
Despite having Australia at 3-59, India went defensive early, deciding to contain rather than attack. It did allow Australia to go between cruising and crawling along in the middle orders adding 124 runs with the loss of only 1 wicket against a team who refused to put any real pressure on their opposition.
Australia were in a good position to launch in their final 10 overs but it never came. There really didn’t appear to be a player who was ever going to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Even Jonathon Merlo, whose innings was like a satisfying mid-range wine, ended it like a cheap wine that had gone off, with a foolish reverse sweep that found a fielder in the deep. It meant the player most likely to get Australia a score of over 250 was out of India’s way, and Australia’s tail offered little after Merlo.
Where as no Australian batsman showed the qualities to be a genuine star at international level in the future, all of India’s batsmen did. From the outset, the timing of both of India’s openers was far more impressive than their counterparts.
When Manjot Kalra put a free hit onto the hill with a sweet shot over the wide mid on boundary, the signs were worrying for Australia. A brief rain break didn’t stop India’s early momentum, captain Prithvi Shaw’s driving was a brief delight once play had resumed.
Australia’s much needed breakthrough came after a 71 run opening stand, but it was always an uphill battle for the men in Gold, and the hill they were climbing was far steeper than the hills adjacent to the ground.
All four Indian batsman batted beautifully, with the standout being unbeaten centurion Kalra. Scoring at almost a run a ball for his 101*, he was a clear choice for man of the match honours.
It wasn’t a great performance either with ball or in the field for India, who were at times sloppy against a team that lacked a bit of quality. However, with bat in hands, India’s batsmen all combined in a comfortable and superb run chase to become the first nation to win four under 19 cricket world cups.