Raj Bawa, Shaik Rasheed and their starring role in India's ICC U-19 World Cup win

India's U-19 World Cup win would not have been possible if not for the heroics of Raj Bawa and Shaik Rasheed in the final.

Shaik Rasheed (L) and Raj Bawa in file photos. (Images: Twitter)

As the dust settles on India winning their fifth ICC U-19 World Cup, the temptation to pick out potential stars for the future is strong.

Naturally, there’s always extra attention given to the captain. Which explains why many see Yash Dhull as the next big star to emerge from this crop.

It’s not like India don’t have previous history in this regard either. Of India’s four previous ICC U-19 World Cup winning captains, only one – Unmukt Chand – failed to kick on at senior level.

The likes of Mohammed Kaif, Virat Kohli and Prithvi Shaw have all found varying degrees of success in their senior careers. And, in the case of the latter two, it feels like there is much more to come.

Yet the two players who arguably stood out more than anyone else were Raj Bawa and Shaik Rasheed. And both for very different reasons.

Bawa’s five-wicket haul in the first innings was key to restrict England to a meagre 190. His new-ball partner Ravi Kumar got things rolling early, picking up two quick wickets when he found some movement.

But it was Bawa who ran through the middle-order and left the English team’s hopes of a competitive total crumbling.

Bawa not only removed the dangerous George Thomas, he also removed William Luxton and George Bell in successive deliveries.

Luxton was dismissed chasing a wide short ball and edging it to the wicketkeeper. Another short ball to welcome Bell to the crease saw him glove one to the ‘keeper.

England were 45-5 and then 91-7 after two more wickets fell. Indeed, were it not for James Rew’s fighting 95, England might well have not made it to 150.

But 190 gave them a fighting chance and that was exactly what they did.

India’s rollercoaster ICC U-19 World Cup win

England got the perfect start when they removed Angkrish Raghuvanshi for a duck on the second ball of the innings. In came Shaik Rasheed, who steadied the innings with calm and precision.

Together, he and Harnoor Singh put together a 49-run stand. Both were cautious, given the loss of an early wicket and the low total at hand.

Singh would eventually be dismissed for 21 but Rasheed brought up his second half-century in as many matches before he too was removed.

Nevertheless, by that point India had 95 runs on the board, meaning the job was already half done. And, in avoiding a top-order collapse, he’d made it easier on the lower order.

Again, it wasn’t that easy either – Dhull departed shortly after Rasheed. But that man Bawa stepped up again, scoring a valuable 35 before Dinesh Bana finished the match with two sixes.

Yes, it was a massive win for the India U-19 cricket team. But it was one that would have been all the more hard if not for Bawa and Rasheed.




WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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