Christchurch: India thrashed arch-rivals Pakistan by 203 runs to secure a thumping victory in the semi-finals of the ICC Under-19 World Cup in Christchurch on Tuesday to ride into the finals, where they will face Australia.
An unbeaten century from Shubman Gill helped India set a competitive total of 272, which Pakistan never looked like reaching as they were skittled for 69 with more than 20 overs remaining.
Ishan Porel was India's hero with the ball, taking four for 17 in a match the tournament favourites utterly dominated.
While the Indian colts were lauded for their stupendous display in New Zealand, Indian fans also gave credit to coach Rahul Dravid for guiding the youngsters to the finals once again.
This is the second time running that the Men in Blue have made it to the finals, previously ending as runners-up to West Indies in 2016.
Twitterati flooded with wishes for the man behind the scenes and crediting him for grooming and guiding the boys on the right path.
Rahul Dravid became Under 19 Indian Coach in 2015:— Broken Cricket (@BrokenCricket) January 30, 2018
2016 WC: India reached finals
2018 WC: India reaches finals
- before the harsh criticism on U19 bunch, former Pakistan greats must note that Rahul Dravid chose to work with India U19. How many from Pakistan would opt to serve at this level?— Asif Khan (@mak_asif) January 30, 2018
— Mayank Nema (@MayankMNema) January 30, 2018
Salute To Hard Work Of Rahul Dravid In Creating A Team That Is Strong In All Aspects, Be It Fielding, Batting Or Bowling. #Legend 💪🙏🇮🇳 #ICCU19WorldCup #INDvPAK #IndvsPak #PakvInd #PakVsIND #U19CWC pic.twitter.com/bS2N0pAOP0— Sir Ravindra Jadeja (@SirJadeja) January 30, 2018
Pakistan bowled out for 69, India’s youngsters celebrated 69th Republic Day in a style.... Proud moment for Rahul Dravid— Indian National Con (@desimojito) January 30, 2018
Our U-19 boys... What a stunning show in an @ICC event. And, in alien NZ! Awesome... It's the Rahul Dravid influence, best man for the job— Lokendra Pratap Sahi (@lpsahi) January 30, 2018
Go ahead & applaud the Indian lads and cheer them on to win the #U19WorldCup.
But take a moment to also applaud that quiet guy who stays away from the spotlight and has built this champion team: Rahul Dravid.— Ashok Lalla (@ashoklalla) January 30, 2018
While so many ex Indian cricketers are always in the limelight, one man decides to stay away from it . He decides to build and nurture a new generation of exceptions players for them to achieve big. What a man, Rahul Dravid !! #U19WorldCup— Vks (@VikHasya) January 30, 2018
Don't forget the man behind success of Indian under 19 cricket team. Who else ! The great Rahul Dravid . "The Wall" is still protecting Indian cricket. #U19WorldCup #INDvPAK pic.twitter.com/wglljYDwSq— umang misra (@umangmisra) January 30, 2018
The man who's turned the young guys into consistent and level-headed players. His contribution to developing India's next generation accentuates his legendary aura.— Vinayak Jain (@vinayak_jain) January 30, 2018
Love you #RahulDravid 😍 pic.twitter.com/CIQJ1OgNzJ
Both India and Pakistan Under 19 teams have talented players but the difference of management, grooming, body language, knowledge of the game and mentor (great Rahul Dravid) were clearly superior assets in the Indian team— Shahid Hashmi (@hashmi_shahid) January 30, 2018
Any player in Under 19 team breathes.— Gappistan Radio (@GappistanRadio) January 30, 2018
- You can totally see Rahul Dravid’s influence there.
no one said this to Rahul Dravid pic.twitter.com/SJeWIkg2AA— Arun LoL (@dhaikilokatweet) January 23, 2018
Rahul Dravid being made the mentor for these rising stars in our cricketing firmament, is the best thing, we had been witnessed in the recent history of our cricket-management.
The best synergy I can think of.
Best wishes & Godspeed in their sincere & hardworking endeavors.— Jose Puliampatta (@JosePuliampatta) January 30, 2018
The result sees India square off against fellow heavyweight Australia in Saturday's final in Tauranga.
Both sides have won the tournament three times, with India winning its last title in 2012 when they defeated Australia in the final. India are unbeaten in New Zealand, with five convincing wins from five matches, including a 100-run win over Australia in the group stages.
Australia also looked vulnerable in their quarter-final against England before a record-breaking eight-wicket spell from leg-spinner Lloyd Pope turned the match.
Against Pakistan, the Indians won the toss and elected to bat first, with openers Shaw and Manjot Kalra scoring at better than a run a ball in the early overs.
Pakistan's vaunted pace attack, which fired them into the final four, failed to make inroads as fielding errors saw Kalra dropped twice. The 89-run opening partnership was finally broken when Shaw was run out for 41, with the TV umpire ruling he failed to ground his bat properly while diving for safety.
Kalra departed on 47 but India still appeared set for a big total until paceman Arshad Iqbal slowed their momentum with three wickets in as many overs. Muhammad Musa helped mop up the tail, ending with figures of four for 67 but Gill continued his rich vein of form at the tournament to ensure India's total was competitive.
He steadied the middle order and brought up his 93-ball century in the final over, finishing on 102 not out. Pakistan made a disastrous start, slumping to 28 for four as Porel tore through their top order. Shaw led the way in the field with two sharply-taken catches.
Only three Pakistan batsman reached double figures, with Rohail Nazir top-scoring on 18 in a one-sided contest....