Mount Maunganui: After finishing as runners-up in 2016, Team India lifted their fourth Under-19 World Cup trophy by beating Australia in the final by eight wickets. Ahead of the final, India were the overwhelming favourites to win the title.
The Boys in Blue remained unbeaten during the entire tournament. The Rahul Dravid-coached side dished out some fantastic performances right from the start to bring home the trophy they last won in 2012 under the leadership of Unmukt Chand.
Here are some of the talking points from the final:
The track at the Bay Oval had grass covering on it and with the wind blowing across the ground, the Indian bowlers made it difficult for Australian batsmen to score runs freely. Ishan Porel made full use of the condition as he removed openers Jack Edwards and Max Bryant. Kamlesh Nagarkoti then removed Australian skipper Jason Sangha to put more pressure on the Australian batting line-up. Later on, spinner Anukul Roy and Shiva Singh did the damage with the ball to restrict Australia.
Indian bowlers’ dominance
Indian bowlers continued their impressive form in the final of the Under-19 World Cup. Pacers Ishan Porel and Kamlesh Nagarkoti made the early breakthrough by removing the Australian top-order. In spite of Jonathan Merlo’s half-century (76 runs), other bowlers continued to chip in with wickets at crucial junctures to restrict Australia to 216 runs.
Australia batting collapse
With Jonathan Merlo at crease Australia had a chance to put up big total on the board and apply pressure on India. After Merlo's dismissal, there was no fight back from other Australian batsman as their innings folded pretty quickly.
Manjot Kalra century
Manjot Karla had a quiet tournament so far. His highest score of 86 came against Australia in the opening game. The left-hander came out all guns blazing in the final, to single-handedly win the title for the side. Kalra remained unbeaten on 101 as Rahul Dravid’s boys clinched a record fourth title. He ended the tournament as the second highest rungetter for India (252 runs), behind vice-captain Shubman Gill (372 runs).
Jonathan Merlo, the lone warrior for Australia
The middle-order batsman was the top-scorer (76 runs) for Australia in the final. He, along with Param Uppal looked like taking the game away from India, as a score of 250-260 looked on the cards. The fall of Uppal’s wicket saw the game turned on its head as the other batsmen did not give him enough support as wickets kept on tumbling....