Uday Sahara-led India Under-19 will face Australia Under-19 in the final of the Men's Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2024 at Willowmoore Park, Benoni. This is India's ninth appearance at the summit of the event. Out of eight matches played, India secured victory in five and suffered three losses, becoming the most successful team in the history of the tournament. Australia holds the second best record with three titles. Let's go back to India's performance in the U19 World Cup final:
In the 2000 U-19 World Cup, India made their debut in the finals as they secured a convincing victory over Sri Lanka in Colombo under the captaincy of Mohammad Kaif. Opting to bowl first, India dismissed Sri Lanka for 178 and successfully chased down the target in 40.4 overs with 6 wickets in hand, with Yuvraj Singh a notable presence in the team.
In 2006, India's second appearance in the U-19 World Cup final ended in a 38-run loss to arch-rivals Pakistan in Colombo. Ravikant Shukla captained the Indian side which included players like Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja and Piyush Chawla. Pakistan posted 109 and India scored 71 points.
The 2008 edition marked India's third appearance in the finals, resulting in a 12-run loss (DLS method) against South Africa in Kuala Lumpur. Virat Kohli led the team, posting 159 to restrict South Africa to 103 for 8. Saurabh Tiwary, Manish Pandey, Ravindra Jadeja and Siddarth Kaul were notable members of the team.
In 2012, India secured their third title by defeating Australia in the final in Townsville. Opting to bowl first, India restricted Australia to 225 for 8, reaching the target in 47.4 overs with 6 wickets in hand. Captain Unmukta Chand's unbeaten 111 played a key role with contributions from Hanuma Vihari and Sandeep Sharma.
Back-to-back U19 World Cup final appearances in India
Since 2016, India have regularly reached the finals of the Under-19 World Cup. In 2016, Ishan Kishan led the team in a match against West Indies at Mirpur where India scored 145 but West Indies chased him down in 49.3 overs. Rishabh Pant, Washington Sundar, Sarfaraz Khan, Khaleel Ahmed and Avesh Khan were the key players.
India dominated the 2018 final against Australia at Mount Maunganui. Elected to bat first, Australia scored 216 runs and India chased it down in 38.5 overs under the leadership of Prithvi Shaw, featuring Shubman Gill and Shivam Mavi.
In the 2020 edition, India faced a three-wicket loss (DLS method) to Bangladesh in a low-scoring thriller at Potchefstroom. India were bowled out for 177 and Bangladesh chased down the revised target of 170 in 42.1 overs. Priyam Garg captained the team with stars like Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Dhruv Jurel and Ravi Bishnoi.
In 2022, India beat England in a summit clash to secure a record fifth title. Opting to bat first, England posted 189 all out and the Yash Dhulla-led side chased it down in 47.4 overs. Players like Rajvardhan Hangargekar and Raj Bawa were instrumental in the victory.
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