India’s title defence at the U19 World Cup 2024 ended in the summit clash on Sunday in Benoni as Australia broke Indian hearts once again, winning a one-sided final. India finished runners-up in the prestigious age-group tournament for the fourth time overall and the third time in the last five editions.
India’s much-talked-about batting imploded in the big final as star batters, including captain Uday Saharan, Musheer Khan and Sachin Dhas, failed to trouble the scorers much. Australia, who made the gutsy call of winning the toss and batting first in overcast conditions, posted 253, the highest total in the final of a U19 Men’s World Cup tournament. Fast bowler Mahli Beardman and spinner Raf MacMillan picked up 3 wickets each as India were bundled out for 174 in 43.5 overs, falling well short of what could have been a record run chase.
Australia seem to have the mental edge over India in men’s iCC tournaments in the recent past. Only 2 months back, a Pat Cummins-led side stunned India in the final of the ICC Men’s World Cup in Ahmedabad. On November 19, India’s incredible run came to a heartbreaking halt as Rohit Sharma’s men imploded in the final. Before the World Cup, India lost the ICC World Test Championship final to Australia in June at the Oval in London.
Australia are now the champions of senior men’s 50-over World Cup, the World Test Championship, the women’s T20 World Cup and the senior women’s 50-over World Cup to go with the U19 men’s World Cup.
The story was similar in the U19 World Cup as India, led by Uday Saharan, reached the final unbeaten, having dominated the opposition teams en route. However, the young men succumbed to nerves and some superior all-round effort from Australia.
It was the fourth U19 Men’s World Cup crown for Australia and their first since 2010.