Saturday, February 24, 2024

‘At U19, team results don’t matter much’: Mohammad Kaif brings back ‘on paper’ remark after India’s loss to Australia

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Australia secured another victory over India in the World Cup finals as they claimed the Under-19 title with a commanding 79-run win. Opting to bat first, the Australians posted a challenging total of 253 for seven, forcing India to chase a steep target. Despite India’s efforts, they stumbled in their pursuit and were bowled out for 174, with Mahli Beardman and Raf MacMillan leading the Australian bowling attack with figures of 3/15 and 3/43, respectively.

Mohammed Kaif responded to India’s defeat against Australia in Sunday’s U19 World Cup final.(File/AP)

This win marked Australia’s fourth U19 title and served as a redemption for their losses to India in the title matches of 2012 and 2018.

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Many would view this result as a continuation of Australia’s win over India in the senior World Cup last year at Ahmedabad. Rohit Sharma’s India had been in sublime form throughout the World Cup, having registered ten successive wins before the loss in the final.

At that time, former India batter Mohammed Kaif drew significant attention from fans and cricketers alike when he stated that India were a better team on the paper, even as the side lost the final. “I can never accept that the best team has not won the World Cup. The Indian team is the best team on paper,” Kaif had told broadcasters after the final in Ahmedabad.

Following the U19 final, Kaif brought back his ‘on paper’ remark again, but this time in appreciation for the Australian team. An U19 World Cup-winning captain himself, Kaif lauded the Aussie side and stated that they outclassed the Indian team.

“At u-19 level team results don’t matter much. Future stars learn lesson that help them in long journey.. Well played India. This time have to say Australia good on pitch, and on paper,” Kaif wrote on his official X profile.

This was Australia’s third U19 World Cup title; the country now holds all trophies except the T20 World Cup, which is currently with England.

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