“We Had Prepared But…”: Skipper Uday Saharan’s Blunt Take On U-19 World Cup Final Loss

India skipper Uday Saharan admitted that his batters faltered in their execution and paid the price for playing rash shots in a heartbreaking 79-run loss to Australia in the U-19 World Cup final on Sunday. Set 254 to win, India cut a sorry figure with the bat as they were all out for 174 in 43.5 overs. Opener Adarsh Singh (47) and number 8 Murugan Abhishek (42) were the only Indian batters who showed the stomach to fight as the title slipped out of their hands. “We played a few rash shots, couldn’t spend more time at the crease. We had prepared, but couldn’t execute,” said Saharan during the post-match presentation.

While India faltered in the final step, skipper Saharan praised the team for their impressive run in the tournament.

“It was a very good tournament. I am very proud of the boys, they all played very well. They all showed great fighting spirit from the start, very proud of them,” he said.

“We got to learn a lot from the start to now. From the coaching staff to the games, learned a lot. Now we just need to keep learning more and move ahead.” For Australia it was their fourth U-19 World Cup title.

“It’s unbelievable. I am so proud of this group of boys and the coaches. A lot of work has gone in over the last few months,” Australia captain Hugh Weibgen said.

“We had fair bit of confidence that if we got 250 on the board, we’d defend it. India, obviously, is a class side, they dominated the whole tournament and they were on the wrong side today but they have a lot of class.” Australian bowlers were on the money with Callum Vidler (2/35), Charlie Anderson (1/42), Mahli Beardman (3/15) and Tom Straker (1/32) sharing seven wickets in the final.

“Personally, as a unit they work so well together. They know their roles, they know their jobs. I’ll be very surprised if the four of them don’t go a long way.” Weibgen also heaped praise on Harjas Singh, who top-scored for Australia with 55.

“Form is temporary, class is permanent. Full credit to the coaches for keeping faith in him. We had full faith he could get the job done.” Beardman, who was adjudged the player of the match, described it as a “surreal” feeling.

“It’s pretty surreal, hasn’t fully set in yet. But it’s something we’ve been working towards for a long, long time so the hard work has paid off,” he said.

Asked about their plans against India, Beardman said: “They’ve been incredible and we knew it was going to be a good battle. For me I just wanted to use my short balls and hit the top of off.

“I’ve been thinking about my bowling, my field settings. Just trying to work on the mental side of the ball.” South Africa fast bowler Kwena Maphaka was named the player of the tournament.

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