Home Sports ICC U-19 World Cup final: Prithvi Shaw-led boys take on Australia to lift historic fourth under 19 world cup title

ICC U-19 World Cup final: Prithvi Shaw-led boys take on Australia to lift historic fourth under 19 world cup title

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ICC U-19 World Cup final: Prithvi Shaw-led boys take on Australia to lift historic fourth under 19 world cup title

When India’s Under 19 cricket team takes to the field on Saturday, they will be hoping to do what Unmukt Chand’s side did in 2012 – beat the Aussies to clinch the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup.

The young Indian side will be taking on the junior Aussies at the picturesque Bay Oval ground in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand.Prithvi Shaw and Jason Sangha are both unerringly adept at interacting with the press. They answer questions fluently, without stuttering or hesitating, adapting clichés to naturally pad out responses, but also offering insights, while revealing nothing that could be used to paint them or their teams in a negative light.

There’s even the occasional quip when relevant – Sangha gave an extended lie-in as the reason he’s looking forward to the Final being a Day/Night contest, while after Shubman Gill’s match-winning century in India’s Semi-Final Shaw pokes fun by saying, “he’s the most mischievous guy in the team – he just doesn’t talk much in press conferences!”

Earlier, in the group stages, both the teams faced each other where India thumped Australia by 100 runs. Historically, India and Australia have faced each other five times in this tournament, with India leading 3-2. If Rahul Dravid’s boys can go one step ahead in the final, then India will be the first team to lift the title for a historic fourth time
he encounters on Saturday will be India’s sixth world cup final and if Prithvi Shaw lifts the silverware then he will join the likes of Mohammad Kaif, Virat Kohli, and Unmukt Chand as the India fourth captain to lift yet another U-19 world cup crown.

It’s an ease that players normally achieve much later in their careers, if they ever do, and it demonstrates the confidence they possess. For Sangha, the poise with which he holds himself was evident from Day One of this tournament when he was willing to laugh at himself for dancing in the shower in front of his teammates and on camera at a media day.

Shaw’s moment in front of the lens would come later, kissing and holding a fan’s baby, an incident caught by TV cameras. It’s something Presidents and Popes are more used to than Under 19 cricketers, but naturally Shaw took to it with aplomb.

Perhaps the reason for each’s confidence is different. Sangha’s might be a by-product of him being naturally wise beyond his years -Australia’s batting coach Chris Rogers describes him as “almost like a man playing in this competition with his maturity” – while Prithvi’s comes from a lifetime’s experience.

“Right from childhood, the school that I came from had players such as Sarfaraz Khan, Arman Jaffer,” said Shaw. Khan and Jaffer each broke the record for the highest score in the Giles Shield, an Under 14 tournament, in successive years. Shaw surpassed them both with an innings of 546 in 2013.

“Whenever we used to play school cricket, there used to be newspaper media, photographers, camerapersons. These guys were always watching us, we knew they would be here and we would have to deal with it. So, from an early age, we knew that if we performed well, our photos will be on newspapers and on televisions. I’ve got used to it now.”

The under 19 Indian side has been in a tremendous run of form in the tournament so far, demolishing every opponent on its path. With 341 runs in five matches, Shubhman Gill has been one of the chief architects of India’s success. Riding on his swashbuckling century, India knocked out arch-rivals Pakistan in the semis India’s success is not dependent on one player. The key has been an all-around performance with contributions from everyone. Along with Gill, Prithvi Shaw and Manjot Kalra have also performed well in the top order. Equally, impressive have been the fast bowlers- Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, and Ishan Porel. While Porel has outfoxed batsmen with his movement, Nagarkoti and Mavi have troubled the opposition with their raw pace. Early blows from the seamers have been crucial for the impact that slow bowlers have had coming later on

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