India will take on Australia in the final of the U-19 World Cup 2024 a Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Sunday, February 11. This will be the fifth consecutive appearance for India in the summit clash of the ICC event. They are also the defending champions of the tournament.
The Indians have had a wonderful campaign in the U-19 World Cup 2024 and will head into the final undefeated, similar to the senior team’s streak in the ODI World Cup last year. They would, of course, want the result of the final to be different as Rohit Sharma’s men suffered heartbreak against the Aussies in the summit clash.
India were placed in Group A in the opening stage of the U-19 World Cup 2024 and progressed to the next round without much trouble, beating Bangladesh (by 84 runs), Ireland (by 201 runs), and the United States (by 201 runs).
In the Super Six round as well, they thumped New Zealand (by 214 runs) and Nepal (by 132 runs). South Africa gave them a tough fight in the first semifinal, but the Men in Blue hung on to register a tense two-wicket win.
On that note, let’s take a look at five players who have been instrumental in India‘s journey to the U-19 World Cup 2024 final.
#1 Uday Saharan
Skipper Uday Saharan has led India from the front in the literal sense. He is the leading run-getter at the U-19 World Cup 2024 heading into the final. In six innings, he has totaled 389 at an impressive average of 64.83, with one hundred and three half-centuries.
Saharan began the World Cup with a defiant 94-ball 64 against Bangladesh. He followed it up with a fluent 75 off 84 against Ireland. In India’s second match of the Super Six round, he scored 100 off 107 balls against Nepal.
The 19-year-old also stood up under immense pressure in the semifinal. His 81 off 124 balls was the anchor in India’s tense chase of 245.
#2 Musheer Khan
Sarfaraz Khan’s younger brother, Musheer Khan is the second-leading run-getter at the U-19 World Cup 2024. In six innings, he has smashed 338 runs, averaging 67.60 at a strike rate of 101.19, with two hundreds and one fifty.
Musheer hammered 118 off 106 versus Ireland in the group match, hitting nine fours and four sixes. He followed it up with 73 off 76 in the next game against the United States. He was the Player of the Match for his 126-ball 131 in India’s first U-19 World Cup 2024 Super Six match against New Zealand in Bloemfontein.
Musheer has also chipped in with the ball and has claimed six wickets with his left-arm spin at an average of 23.33 and an economy rate of 3.32.
#3 Saumy Pandey
Left-arm spinner Saumy Pandey has been brilliant for India with the ball in the U-19 World Cup 2024. Heading into the final, he is the third-leading wicket-taker in the competition with 17 scalps from six innings at a stupendous average of 8.47 and a brilliant economy rate of 2.44.
Pandey has as many as three four-wicket hauls to his credit in the tournament. He began his U-19 World Cup 2024 campaign with 4/24 in the group game against Bangladesh and followed it up with 3/21 versus Ireland.
His second four-wicket haul came against New Zealand in the Super Six encounter as he snared four wickets for 19 runs. Pandey also registered impressive figures of 4/29 against Nepal.
#4 Sachin Dhas
Sachin Dhas currently occupies the third slot on the list of leading run-getters at the U-19 World Cup 2024. In six innings, the right-handed batter has notched up 294 runs at an average of 73.50 and a strike rate of 116.66, with one century and one half-century.
After some handy cameos in the group stage, Dhas grabbed the limelight with a match-winning 116 off 101 balls in the Super Six match against Nepal. His innings was laced with 11 fours and three sixes.
Dhas narrowly missed out on a hundred in the semifinal against South Africa. However, his 95-ball 96, studded with 11 fours and a six, went a long way in India confirming their berth in the U-19 World Cup 2024 final.
#5 Naman Tiwari
Left-arm pacer Naman Tiwari has also had a memorable U-19 World Cup 2024 campaign. In five innings, he has picked up 10 wickets at an average of 17.50 and an economy rate of 4.72, with two four-wicket hauls.
Tiwari was among the standout bowlers in the group win over Ireland, finishing with 4/53 from his 10 overs. He again starred with excellent figures of 4/20 from nine overs in the triumph over the United States.
Tiwari proved a bit expensive in the semifinal against South Africa, registering figures of 1/52 from eight overs. He will be keen to come up with the goods in the all-important final against Australia.