India had to overcome hurdles to become the first team in U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup history to lay their hands on the trophy five times. We look back at their journey in the West Indies. Having won the coveted under-age trophy in 2000, 2008, 2012 and 2018, India continued their recent domination at the 2022 U19 Cricket World Cup, beating England by four wickets in the final at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.
India came into the tournament with good momentum on their side, winning the U19 Asia Cup in December 2021 and carrying it all the way to the final of the World Cup. It wasn’t an easy ride to glory for the Indian team – at one point in the tournament, they had a tough time picking a playing XI after several players tested positive for COVID-19. The setback, however, seemed to spur them on as they finished the tournament unbeaten.
The Indian colts came up with equally strong performances in the knockout stages, starting with the quarter-final against Bangladesh. Ravi Kumar ran through the top-order with three wickets in the Powerplay before the spinners wrapped up Bangladesh’s inning for 111. India stuttered in the middle of their chase but Yash Dhull, returning to the XI after recovering from COVID-19, batted through to take India to the semi-finals with five wickets in hand.
India was in trouble at 37/2 batting first before Dhull and Rasheed pulled off a rescue act with a 204-run partnership. The captain got to his hundred but the vice-captain was unfortunate to be run out at the non-striker’s end six runs short of a century. Cameos from Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Sindhu and Dinesh Bana took India to 290/5. Ravi Kumar once again struck early but Australia recovered through Campbell Kellaway and Corey Miller. However, the wicket of Miller opened the floodgates as Australia went from 71/1 to 125/7. Jack Sinfield and Tom Whitney delayed the inevitable with a 42-run stand but Australia was eventually skittled out for 194. With the 96-run win, India made it to their fourth successive U19 World Cup Final.
Asked to bowl first in the final, India landed the opening blow through their pacers, reducing England to 91/7. Ravi Kumar and Raj Bawa ran riot with the ball, before James Rew and James Sales led England’s recovery with a 93-run stand. The pacers returned to clean up the rest of the batting line-up for 189.
Chasing 190, India faltered early, losing Angkrish Raghuvanshi for a duck in the first over. Harnoor Singh and Shaik Rasheed consolidated with a 49-run stand. Rasheed got to his half-century but soon lost his wicket and Dhull followed shortly after. Nishant Sindhu and Raj Bawa then got together to bail India out of trouble by adding 67 runs for the fifth wicket. Though there were some jitters towards the end, Dinesh Bana finished things off in style with two consecutive sixes to seal the match and take India to their fifth U19 World Cup title.
Opener Angkrish Raghuvanshi was the highest run-scorer for India in this tournament with 278 runs at an excellent average of 46.33. That includes a best of 144 that came against Uganda in the group stage.
Left-arm orthodox spinner Vicky Ostwal was the highest wicket-taker for India with 12 wickets to his name at an average of 13.33. Ostwal registered his best figures of 5/28 against South Africa in their very first match of this competition
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