During their preparations for the World Cup, having won two of the three finals they have featured in, the India under-19 cricketers seemed to have sworn by the saying: ‘save the best for the last’.
But come Sunday, and the final against Australia will be different. After all, India take on the hosts in the final of the ICC U-19 World Cup at the Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville.
While the holders Australia have put in a flawless performance and are yet to taste defeat in the tournament, India commenced their campaign with a defeat to West Indies and were scratchy in the outings that followed. However, nail-biting wins in the quarters against Pakistan and in the semifinal against New Zealand could help India prevail if a tense situation arises again.
Despite the close contests, India skipper Unmukt Chand revealed on Saturday he had envisaged his team making it this far. “The team has peaked at the right time. I had always visualised qualifying for the final and playing Australia in it,” Chand said. “Australia is a good side, and so are we. We will do our best to return home with the Cup.”
“The team is riding high on confidence. We are winning the Cup tomorrow,” said Vinod Phadke, the team manager, from Townsville. While Australia have won the U-19 World Cup thrice, India will be looking to win their third trophy, after 2000 and 2008.