Darwin: India have won the Under-19 International Series after demolishing Australia by eight wickets in the final at Marrara Oval here on Friday.
India never looked troubled in their run chase and reached Australia’s total of 75 in only the 16th over to finish the series unbeaten.
The Aussie players may have spent last night watching one of last year’s Australian U-19 representatives, Ashton Agar, bat his way into history in England. But they were unable to use that inspiration to produce any Agar-like heroics with the bat.
Indian captain Vijay Zol won Player of the Series after a dominant tournament with the bat, scoring 284 runs.
Australian fast bowler Matt Fotia was the only player to snare a five-for during the tournament and finished top of the bowling table with 10 scalps at an average of 17.20. Fellow teammate Cam Valente was also impressive over the series and finished second on the bowling table with nine wickets at 15.89.
Sixteen-year-old Jake Doran was the best of the Aussie bats throughout the tournament with a spectacular average of 195 and an aggregate of 195 runs (second behind Zol).
The series is part of Cricket Australia’s (CA) Under 19 high-performance program and has a decorated history of producing the next generation of Australian players including Michael Clarke, James Pattinson and Agar.
CA’s National Talent Manager Greg Chappell has worked in the last three programs, including identifying and nurturing the talent of Agar and Pat Cummins, and has watched the U19 Series closely.
Chappell said Australian cricket fans had a lot to look forward to in the coming years.
"Doran is the quintessential all-round cricketer for the modern era for he is an accomplished wicket-keeper who also bowls some handy left-arm seamers.
"(He) shows enormous potential as a left-hand middle order player in the mould of Michael Hussey," Chappell said.
Chappell also identified opener Matthew Short as another batsman to watch, and said he had been impressed by young bowlers Fotia and Valente.
"Short has shown enormous potential as a stroke player and is also a promising off-spin bowler who fields well. He has already been recognised by Cricket Victoria with a rookie contract for next season.
"Fotia is a strongly built young man who likes to bowl fast and who loves a chat.
"Valente is a clever medium fast bowler and lower middle order batsman from South Australia. Cam is a competitive young man who has a good understanding of the tactical requirements of the game and is a proven wicket-taker," Chappell said.
Australia underperformed with the bat this Series but Chappell said it was up to the players to use these experiences as a good learning opportunity.