'Ya toh haar ke aayenge…': India U19 youngster slips up in motivating Murugan Abhishek on Hardik Pandya-like knock
Naman Tiwari wanted to motivate Murugan Abhishek for his innings but the words came out wrong as India U19 lost to Australia U19 in the U19 World Cup final.
For the third time in less than a year, India lost to Australia in the final of an ICC event. After the senior men's cricket team came up short at the World Test Championship and the 50-overs World Cup final, the Australian colts downed their Indian counterparts in an eventually one-sided U19 World Cup final on Sunday. India's dreams of winning the title for a sixth time was crushed by Australia, who cantered to an easy 79-run victory after the Indian batting crashed and burned in their chase of a record 254 – the highest-ever in a U19 WC final.
None of the three prolific Indian scorers – Uday Saharan, Musheer Khan, Sachin Dhas – could make an impact – as they chase could never really take off. Barring opener Adarsh Singh and Murugan Abhishek in the middle-lower order, no other India batter could show any substance. Adarsh top-scored with 47, and Abhishek stitched a 46-run partnership with Naman Tiwari for the ninth wicket – the highest of the innings and one that spoke volumes about the sorry picture that the Indian batting painted.
Abhishek's counter-attacking knock of 42 off 46 balls took India beyond the 150-run mark which at 91/6 looked nothing short of a miracle. With Tiwari holding one end, Abhishek went after the Aussie bowlers, hitting three fours off a Charlie Anderson over. However, during the 38th over, a motivational slip up from Tiwari towards Abhishek that went wrong was captured by the stump mic. Pretty sure Tiwari meant well but when Abhishek unleashed a mini attack, Tiwari was heard as saying 'Guru, yaad rakhna… ya toh haar ke aayenge ya seekh ke jayenge', which translates to 'Boss, remember. Either we will lose or learn', whereas the correct usage should be 'either we will win or learn'.
Why Abhishek Murugan's knock reminded of Hardik Pandya
Abhishek's knock was a bit of a throwback to the kind of innings Hardik Pandya had played for India in the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy. There too, India were chasing a stiff target – of 338 – and their innings was in tatters. India were reduced to 6/72 when Hardik launched into the Pakistan bowlers, smashing a quickfire 76 off 43 balls to give the team a semblance of hope. Pandya had put on 80 with Ravindra Jadeja for the seventh wicket before an unceremonious run-out led to the end of Hardik's innings.
This isn't the only similarity in the two finals. At the CT final, two Pakistan bowlers – Mohammad Amir and Hasan Ali – had picked up three wickets, similar to yesterday, where the Indian innings was rocked by pacer Mahli Beardman and spinner Raf MacMillan, who finished with 3/15 and 3/43 respectively.
Australia's win made them U-19 World Champions for the fourth time, as the batch of 2024 joined the reputed class of 1988, 2002 and 2010. Beardman was adjudged Player of the Match whereas the Player of the tournament honour was bestowed on South African pacer Kwena Maphaka for picking 21 wickets including three five-wicket-hauls.
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