Australia continued their dream run at ICC events by defeating India for a third time in under a year in the grand finale of the 2024 Under-19 Men’s World Cup in South Africa.
Both teams were unbeaten throughout the tournament and came off thrilling semi-final wins against South Africa and Pakistan. However, come the big day, the Aussies proved their domination of world cricket by brushing aside the Indians by 79 runs.
Nevertheless, Team India is still at the top of the table in U-19 World Cup titles with five, followed closely by Australia in second place with four. The latest triumph means the Men in Yellow are now holders of the ODI World Cup and the U-19 World Cup titles, a feat that is a rarity in the sport.
To unearth the last time the feat was achieved, we have to go back to 2012 when India won the U-19 World Cup a year after their title in the 2011 ODI World Cup.
Led by the legendary MS Dhoni, the Men in Blue lifted the home World Cup with incredible victories against Australia, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka in the final three knockout games.
Dhoni also struck the title-clinching six in the grand finale against the Lankans as India chased down a stiff target of 275 in the penultimate over. He was also the Player of the Match for a scintillating 91* off 79 deliveries under extreme pressure.
Inspired by the seniors, India’s U-19 side overcame an opening encounter defeat against the West Indies in the 2012 U-19 World Cup to win the next five outings. The highlight of their campaign was the one-wicket win against Pakistan in the quarter-final, chasing 137 in a low-scoring classic.
They finished off the memorable run with wins over the Trans-Tasmanian sides, New Zealand and Australia, in the semi-final and final. India was led brilliantly by Unmukt Chand and like Dhoni, the right-hander played a similar match-winning knock of 111* in the summit clash.
While the Indian seniors have not tasted ultimate success in a World Cup since the 2011 edition, the U-19 side triumphed in the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Australia had already achieved the remarkable feat of holding both the ODI and U-19 World Cup titles
Nothing Australia achieves in the sport of cricket ever comes as a surprise, considering the side’s inimitable domination over the past three decades.
The Men in Yellow were the first to hold both the ODI and Under-19 World Cup titles when they won the inaugural edition of the latter in 1988. The senior side won Australia’s maiden ODI World Cup title in India in 1987 after three unsuccessful campaigns in 1975, 1979, and 1983.
The Aussies held both titles again after the 2002 and 2010 U-19 World Cups. However, the side did not win the immediate U-19 World Cup after clinching the ODI World Cup title on these two occasions.
Australia triumphed in the 1999 ODI World Cup but could not win the immediate U-19 tournament in 2000, with India emerging victors. Yet, the Men in Yellow emerged victorious in the 2002 U-19 World Cup in New Zealand to hold both the coveted trophies.
It was a carbon copy eight years later when Australia won the 2007 ODI World Cup but did not win the U-19 event the following year. Nevertheless, they ensured to hold both titles for a third time then by clinching the title in the 2010 U-19 World Cup.
While Pakistan, England, and the West Indies are the other sides to have won the ODI and U-19 World Cups, they have never enjoyed the rarified air of holding both titles at once.