Best shots from India's amazing win in the 2018 ICC Under-19 World Cup final

Opener Manjot Kalra hit an unbeaten 101 as India easily disposed of Australia at Mount Maunganui on Sunday to win the Under-19 World Cup for a fourth time. 

With Kalra scoring freely, India won by eight wickets as they chased down Australia’s 216 all out with more than 11 overs to spare. 

The opener’s century included eight fours and three sixes, and he was well supported by wicketkeeper Harvik Desai, who was 47 not out when he finished the match with a boundary. 

The pair put on 89 for the third wicket, while Prithvi Shaw scored 29 at the top of the innings and Shubman Gill added 31.

Here are the top images from a famous victory for the India Under-19 team.

All images courtesy Getty Images and @cricketworldcup/twitter

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Manjot Kalra and spinners hand India fourth ICC Under-19 World Cup title

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Photo credit: @cricketworldcup/twitter

India became the most successful team in ICC Under-19 World Cup history after the boys in blue beat Australia by eight wickets in the final to cap a remarkable campaign.

India’s bowlers were on top of their game in the first innings as they restricted the Aussies to 216 in 47.2 overs. Four Indian bowlers chipped in with two wickets each as Jason Sangha’s team never got going despite the top six batsmen getting starts. Left-arm spinner Anukul Roy finished as the highest wicket-taker of the tournament with 14 scalps from six games.

India’s batsmen then took over with opening batsman Manjot Kalra steering the chase with a sublime century to secure the fourth ICC Under-19 World Cup title for his team, the most by any side.

Here are the talking points from the final …

SPIN RATTLES AUSSIES

The spotlight was on India’s fast bowlers Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti going into the final but it was spin that proved to be the game-changer.

Left-arm spinners Shiva Singh (2-36) and Anukul Roy (2-32) not only kept the scoring rate down but also accounted for the Aussie middle order, dismissing top-scorer Jonathan Merlo (76), Param Uppal (34), Nathan McSweeney (23) and Will Sutherland (5). The pitch offered enough assistance to the slower bowlers and Roy and Singh took full advantage.

India spinner's accounted for Australia's middle order.

India spinner’s accounted for Australia’s middle order.

POREL IS SPECIAL

India seamer Ishan Porel hasn’t attracted as much attention as Mavi or Nagarkoti. However, he has something the other two quicks don’t – height. Porel gets the ball to jump off a good length and has surprised batsmen in the semi-final and final. He took four wickets against Pakistan in the semis with three batsmen out fending off deliveries that bounced higher than expected. Against Australia, he accounted for openers Jack Edwards and Max Bryant, with both getting out trying to force Porel through cover.

KALRA THE LEFT-HANDED VIRENDER SEHWAG?

Opening batsmen Kalra comes from the ‘stand and deliver’ school of batting. Keeping footwork to a minimum, Kalra likes to play expansive shots from the crease along the ground and over the infield. That he bats left-handed makes his batting even more pleasing to watch.

In the final, Kalra took charge after ‘star’ players Prithvi Shaw (29) and Shubman Gill (31) got out relatively early. He found the boundary eight times and cleared it on three occasions during his knock of 101 from 102 balls. A certain Virender Sehwag would be very happy to see a youngster bat with such freedom at the top of the order in foreign conditions.

Manjor Kalra hit an unbeaten century.

Manjot Kalra hit an unbeaten century.

INDIA’S TOP-ORDER IS TOP NOTCH

Before the final, Aussie captain Jason Sangha had said India’s middle order is not strong and hasn’t been thoroughly tested at the World Cup. In the final, the Aussies had India 131-2 chasing 217 but that is as far as they went.

Wicketkeeper Harvik Desai held his end up to allow Kalra to bat without any pressure. Another wicket or two and the Aussies could have tested India’s middle and lower order. But Kalra and Desai didn’t allow them that opportunity.

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ICC U-19 World Cup: Australia vs India - Team news, road to the finals, schedule and preview

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India will take on Australia in the finals on Saturday.

After a month-long cricketing extravaganza which has seen 16 teams battle it out for the coveted ICC U-19 World Cup in New Zealand, just two remain ahead of the summit clash at Mount Maunganui on Saturday.

Australia and India are the two last teams standing and there is little to separate the pair ahead of the final with both playing some excellent cricket throughout the tournament.

Coached by former stalwart Rahul Dravid, the Indian colts have been a revelation in the tournament with their dominant and mature performances. The Aussies have displayed some impressive cricket themselves under the tutelage of former pacer Ryan Harris and opening batsman Chris Rogers.

BATTLE FOR THE MOST SUCCESSFUL TEAM IN U-19 HISTORY

Both India and Australia have won three titles each in the history of the U-19 World Cup, more than any other country. Hence, Saturday’s clash will be a straight shootout between the two to determine who takes home the mantle of being the most successful country in the U-19 category.

Australia won the inaugural edition in 1988 before taking the crown again in 2002 and 2010. India on the other hand, have been winners in 2000, 2008 and 2012, and finished runners-up to the West Indies in the last edition at Bangladesh.

Shaw and his boy are on the verge of creating history for India.

Shaw and his boy are on the verge of creating history for India.

ROAD TO THE FINAL

The Prithvi Shaw-led India have been unblemished in the tournament, winning all their five matches so far. They were completely dominant in the group stages where they beat Australia in their opening encounter before making short work of Papua New Guinea and Zimbabwe.

They also eased to victory over Bangladesh in the last-eight clash before turning over arch-rivals Pakistan in the semi-final.

The Jason Sangha-led Australia have been pretty much near perfect in the tournament. Bar their opening match loss to India, they have swept aside all opposition before them. After finishing runners-up to the Men in Blue in Group B, the Aussie colts stopped England’s charge in the quarter-final before trumping Afghanistan in the semi-final.

Australia have been impressive in the run-in to the finals.

Australia have been impressive in the run-in to the finals.

PROBABLE LINE-UPS

Ishan Porel, India’s hero in the semi-final win over Pakistan, is a doubt for Saturday after picking up a slight niggle. There are no other injury concerns for Shaw apart from Porel and they will likely turn up with the same side that won against Pakistan.

The Aussies lost pacer Jason Ralston to injury mid-way through the tournament and will now have to make do without his replacement Aaron Hardie who has been sidelined himself.

India are likely to go with the same XI that beat Pakistan.

India are likely to go with the same XI that beat Pakistan.

India (Probable XI):  Prithvi Shaw (c), Manjot Kalra, Shubman Gill, Harvik Desai, Riyan Parag, Abhishek Sharma, Anukul Roy, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Ishan Porel and Shiva Singh.

Australia (Probable XI): Jack Edwards, Max Bryant, Jason Sangha (c), Param Uppal, Nathan McSweeney, Jonathan Merlo, Will Sutherland, Baxter Holt, Zak Evans, Ryan Hadley and Lloyd Pope.

WHEN: February 3, 2018

TIME: 05:00 AM GST

WHERE: Mount Maunganui, Tauranga, New Zealand.

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