Manjot Kalra's ton leads India Under-19 to World Cup glory

Australia lost to India by 100 runs in the league stage of the ICC under-19 World Cup but skipper Jason Sangha is confident that the team can exploit India’s middle order that has not been tested

India, Australia all set for epic clash in Under-19 World Cup final

England and Australia had each won 32 each before the latest series. In reply, India managed to chase down the target easily with Manjot Kalra becoming the second player to score a ton in U-19 World Cup final, only after India's own Unmukt Chand. The Ausies who batted first were all out for 216 in 47.2 overs with Jonathan Merlo top scoring with 76 runs and the wickets shared by the Indian tigers. The venue for the final is the same, but the team is different.

"I just loved the tournament, the mateship I made on the field and the mateship off it, especially with those from some of the other teams, will be the best thing for me". It proved to be just a brief nusiance for the Indian openers as they come out after the rain break and smashed the Australian bowlers to all parts of the ground. Their victory against England in the quarter-final was quite surprising, where Pace-bowler Pope got 8 wickets and break England's bone. Merlo and McSweeney had just formed a good partnership (49 runs off 10.3 overs) when Shiva Singh took McSweeney's wicket. "In Rahul Dravid, we have a fantastic coach who is moulding the youngsters and also fine-tuning the boys at the India A level before they progress to the senior side".

Since thrashing the Aussies by 100 runs in their opening match, India have proved simply unstoppable, winning five successive games easily. But that also means they are untested. The services of the Indian middle order were rarely used in the tournament. Fast bowler Ishan Porel started out by denting Australia's hope for a good start, as both openers Max Bryant and Jack Edwards perished while trying to take control of the early proceedings.

"I think the BCCI is doing a great job in promoting the game in the country".

TITLES: India: 3, Australia: 3. But as Rahul Dravid said, they must look upon this as a stepping stone.

India coach Ravi Shastri wrote: "Great performance boys". It's great, it's a challenge for our guys.

Echoing similar view, Indian batsman Suresh Raina hailed the Men in Blue for remaining unbeaten in the prestigious tournament and coming out as eventual champions.

The Indian colts aim to rewrite record books with a fourth title as they take on a formidable Australian side.

"I am really proud of the boys, proud of the effort that they have put in and proud of the support staff as well".

Fresh from a 203-run thrashing of Pakistan in the semi-final, India set its date with Australia, who had comfortably defeated Afghanistan by six wickets in the battle of the last four.

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