India Vs Australia Final | U19 ICC World Cup 2024: England football legend Gary Lineker once enviously said of the German team of the late 1980s and ’90s: “Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes, and in the end, the Germans always win.” said. In that sense, the same can be said about Australia in the context of international cricket. They always win the grand final. That too they easily win against India.
In the last 7 months alone, the Australian cricket team has beaten India thrice in the finals of major tournaments like the ICC World Cup. They have beaten them 3 times, first in the World Test Championship (WTC) final at The Oval, then the ODI World Cup final in Ahmedabad and now the Junior World Cup in South Africa.
Unlike India, Australia cruised to the final with a thriller against Pakistan in the semi-final. In the final they produced a ruthless performance reminiscent of their senior teammates and beat India by 79 runs to win their fourth Junior World Cup title. Batting first in this match, Australia scored 253 runs for 7 wickets. This is the highest score ever in a Junior World Cup final. Commentator Ian Bishop described it as “one of the fastest pitches I’ve ever seen for a Junior World Cup World Cup, with remarkable lateral movement, bounce and carry”.
Chasing a target of 254 runs on this pitch, the Australian team bowled out India for 174 runs. Australia’s medium pacers used the pitch well and to their advantage. Callum Whittler and Mahli Birdman troubled the Indian batsmen with their pace; Charlie Anderson and Tom Straker kept the pressure on with tight bowling. Before that, off-spinner Rafe Macmillan did the trick with three wickets.
After politely refusing to answer the broadcaster’s question about who the fast bowler was, Vidler gave India the first shock with an easy dismissal of opener Arshin Kulkarni. Adarsh Singh and Mushir Khan somehow survived the powerplay. But Mahli Beardman, who came in as the second change, put a lot of pressure on the top order. Mahli Beardman, a fast bowler from Dunsborough, Western Australia, has already played for her state. Indian batsmen looked timid against him, who was fearsome with pace.
Like most fast bowlers from the region, legendary tennis player Lily Mahli had a decided admiration for Beardman. Three years ago, Mahly Beardman begged Dennis Lillee to train her. But Lily initially refused. “DK (Lilly) had a rule that he would not work with anyone until he was 16. It took some waiting and some work, but when I was 15 I finally convinced him to see me.
We went to practice nets in South Perth and bowled there and I got on really well with him. Since then, he has been a great mentor to me. He’s a great person to have in my corner,” Mahli Beardman had told reporters ahead of the semi-final clash against Pakistan.
Mahli Birdman, one of the fastest bowlers in the tournament, dismissed Musheer Khan in his first over. He again struggled against quality pace. Dropped at slip by Harry Dixon, Mushir never looked easy during his 33-ball stay. Mahli Birdman’s second victim was India’s captain and leading run-getter of the tournament, Udai Saharan. He made a straight cut to his opponent, Huck Weibken, while trailing. Adarsh Singh, who struggled on his own with 47, eventually got out to Mahli Beardman’s bouncer.
What really hurt India was that they allowed Macmillan to take three wickets. It looked like a question taken from outside the syllabus. He struck on his very first ball and dismissed Sachin Das, who was unmoved against the fast bowlers. Das’s World Cup run ended on a faint margin. Aravelli Avanish was caught by Raf Macmillan. Raj Limbani dedicated himself to ending India’s last lasting hope.
With the batting a disaster, the bowlers would chase Australia down to 253 for 7. Harry Dixon (42) and Hugh Weibgen (48) allowed a 78-run stand for the second wicket after Sam Konstas was dismissed for 16 in 2.3 overs. Despite losing 2 wickets before adding 5 runs, Harjaz Singh came into play. He managed to score only 49 runs in the match but scored a valuable 55 off 64 balls. The southpaw hit three sixes in a brilliant manner against the spinners. With Oliver Peak’s unbeaten 46 off 43 balls, Australia lost several wickets in the middle overs. Apart from medium pacer Raj Limbani (3/38), none made a decisive impact and paid a heavy price.
India captain Saharan blamed his batsmen’s inability to execute their plans against Australia’s pace bowlers, lamenting, “We played some poor shots today and didn’t spend time in the middle. We were ready but couldn’t execute the plans,” he lamented. They always win.
Indian captain Uday Saharan emerged as the tournament’s highest run-scorer with 397 runs, with a century and three fifty-plus scores.
It was Australia’s fourth Junior World Cup title. This is the first title since 2010. It was their 14th ICC title overall.