Australia has done it again, defeating India for the third consecutive time in a major ICC final after coming in as rank underdogs.
This time around it was the under-19 side. that went into the ICC World Cup final friendless with the bookies against the might of India.
However the gifted Aussie side lifted the Under-19 World Cup at the South African venue of Benoni with a comprehensive 79-run win over the reigning champs on Sunday.
It comes after the senior Australian men’s side came from the clouds to win the ICC ODI World Cup in 2023 while the Aussie Test side also claimed the Test Championship last year against India.
While the Indian side came into the final as unbackable favourites they suffered a heavy defeat to the Australians who didn’t lose a match all tournament
The win by the Australian under-19s continues a recent run against India, with the senior side beating them in the ICC Men’s World Cup and Test Championship in 2023
Indian fans were not impressed to lose another final against the Australians with the BCCI president trying to play down the loss
Australia’s dominance, even against the odds, means that India has failed to win a senior ICC trophy in 11 years despite having the largest pool of players and resources in world cricket.
And fans have been left frustrated.
‘Australia has always been a curse for us in finals,’ one posted.
‘Ban Australia team from ICC,’ another said sarcastically.
‘Australia making sure India doesn’t win any trophy soon.’ lamented another.
Former Indian cricket player Mohammad Kaif tried to play down the loss, saying wins at that level were not important.
‘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,’ he posted.
But fans were not impressed with his casual response to the shock loss.
‘After every loss behaving like it isn’t a big deal is one of the reasons India doesn’t have a ICC trophy side last 11 years,’ one replied.
BCCI president Jay Shah praised the Indian players for their spirit, despite the loss.
‘The entire squad showcased the true essence of cricket. Uday Saharan inspiring leadership, Saumy Pandey exceptional spin bowling. Musheer Khan fearlessly taking on the bowlers and Raj Limbani’s emerging as a pace sensation was a sight to behold,’ he posted.
‘To every single member of the team, I express heartfelt gratitude. This game is as unpredictable as it is beautiful. You’ve made us proud with the way you’ve played the game – with heart, pride, and a never-say-die attitude.’
Harjas Singh of Australia poses for a photograph with his Winners medal and the ICC Under’19 Men’s Cricket World Cup trophy
Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc celebrate winning the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in 2023
Pat Cummins and Steve Smith celebrate winning the Test Championship against India following the final that was held in England
Indian fans were quick to turn on Shah as well.
‘No regret, no accountability, no introspection.. Another [World Cup] debacle loading in June T20,’ one fumed.
‘India will never win any ICC trophy till you are in BCCI. Not selecting players on marit is reason behind all the defeats,’ posted another.
After compiling a daunting 7-253 off their 50 overs, the Australians, with their ferocious ‘cartel’ of four young fast bowlers and the artful spin of Raf MacMillan, skittled out India’s previously unbeaten side for 174 off 43.5 overs at Willowmoore Park.
‘It’s unbelievable, and I’m just so proud of the boys and our coaches,’ said their Queensland skipper Hugh Weibgen.
‘A lot of work has gone into this over the last year – but it gives you a fair bit of confidence when you’ve got a pace attack like ours.’
The youngsters became the fourth Aussie U19 team to win the tournament that has so often unearthed gems of the future, and the first since 2010 when Josh Hazlewood helped Mitch Marsh’s side lift the crown in New Zealand.