Under-19 final: India's formidable youngsters set for World Cup glory against Aussies

Last year on November 19, an Australian team had brought tears to the eyes of Rohit Sharma and his band on the global stage and for Uday Saharan, Sachin Dhaas, Mushir Khan and Soumyakumar Pandey, defeating the Australian team would surely be very enjoyable .

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“No, we are not thinking of revenge. Our focus is on the present and we neither want to dwell on the past nor look too far ahead,” Captain Saharan told PTI in Benoni recently.

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The Australian team has a quartet that can cause trouble for India and they are captain Hugh Wiebgen, opening batsman Harry Dixon, fast bowler Tom Straker and Callum Vidler, who have performed consistently during this edition.

India Under-19 had defeated Australia in the 2012 and 2018 finals, and will again be favorites during the title clash in this edition.

The Indian team has always been an age-group force thanks to the hundreds of thousands of talent produced in the country and their ninth global final is a testament to the system that has been in place for the last two decades.

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Since 2016, India Under-19 have played all the finals, winning the 2018 and 2022 editions while losing in 2016 and 2020.

Since Virat Kohli's team won the trophy in 2008, the Under-19 World Cup has gained immense popularity and curiosity due to live TV coverage and streaming.

The Under-19 World Cup has produced stars like Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Suresh Raina, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill and Yashasvi Jaiswal, who have moved up the ranks.

But cold facts will tell us that the list of those who have failed to make it to the top grade after instant stardom is huge.

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From Ritinder Singh Sodhi and Gaurav Dhiman in the early 2000s to Unmukt Chand, Harmeet Singh, Vijay Jol, Sandeep Sharma, Ajitesh Argal, Kamal Pasi, Siddharth Kaul, Smit Patel, Ravikant Singh and Kamlesh Nagarkoti, the list is long.

People forget that senior domestic cricket is a big step up from Under-19 where bossing age-group players from other countries, though commendable, is no big deal.

The rapid rise to stardom creates a false sense of vanity and people fail to replicate it in their senior years.

Players like Prithvi Shaw have lost grip on their careers and are trying to find their footing again, and some like Yash Dhull are finding it extremely difficult to cope with the standards of senior level cricket.

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The truth is that the current Saharan-led team did not look like a good team to begin with as it had failed to even enter the final of the Under-19 Asia Cup a few months ago. But here all the pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place.

Under the leadership of Saharan, who leads the batting charts with 389 runs, the team's performance improved with each match and the only time it was pushed into a corner in the tournament was the semi-final where it defeated hosts South Africa by a Defeated by wicket.

The jury is still out on how many of them can actually make it big, but if there are two stand-out players who look ready for big things, one is young Maharashtra batsman Dhaas, who played the finisher. Has played the role of. , and left-arm spinner Soumya Pandey, who has taken 17 wickets so far.

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Dhas did not get an IPL contract as he has not played any senior level game yet, hence ineligible for the auction. However, he is a batsman who has shown the pre-requisite temperament for the higher level.

Saharan is an accumulator while Sarfaraz Khan's younger brother Musheer, the second-highest run-scorer, is also a useful left-arm spinner.

Right-arm fast bowler Raj Limbani and left-arm fast bowler Naman Tiwary have been effective, but are not ready for the next level.

But his best on Sunday will be more than good enough for this level.


India: Uday Saharan (capt), Arshin Kulkarni, Adarsh ​​Singh, Rudra Mayur Patel, Sachin Dhas, Priyanshu Molia, Musheer Khan, Aravali Avnish Rao (wk), Soumya Kumar Pandey (vc), Murugan Abhishek, Inesh Mahajan (wk), Dhanush Gowda, Aaradhya Shukla, Raj Limbani, Naman Tiwari.

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Australia: Hugh Wiebgen (c), Lachlan Aitken, Charlie Anderson, Harkirat Bajwa, Mahali Beardman, Tom Campbell, Harry Dixon, Ryan Hicks (wk), Sam Konstas, Raphael McMillan, Aidan O'Connor, Harjas Singh, Tom Straker, Callum Vidler, Ollie Peek.

Match start: 1:30 pm IST.

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