Curse of the final strikes again as India choke in yet another ICC knockout game

Players of India cut dejected figures following the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup South Africa 2024 Final between India and Australia at Willowmoore Park on February 11, 2024 in Benoni, South Africa. (Credit: Getty Images)

New Delhi: Another final, another loss. India’s woes in the knockout stages of the ICC tournament continued with another defeat in the crunch match. The Boys in Blue, who have dominated the U-19 World Cup stage for the past two decades, became the latest bunch of Indian players to taste defeat in an ICC knockout game.

The Uday Saharan-led side suffered a humbling 79-run loss against Australia in the summit clash on Sunday, February 12. The Indian boys, who went into the match with a spotless record in the 2024 edition, crumbled under pressure against a professional Aussie unit.

Batting first after winning the toss, Australia posted a formidable total of 253 for 7 in 50 overs – the highest score in a U-19 World Cup final. India’s stellar batting unit, which had three batters in the top three run-getters list – never looked in the hunt to chase down a world record score and were bowled out for 174 in 43.5 overs. India failed to add to their tally of five titles while Australia came one title closer to the Asian giants with their fourth U-19 WC crown.

Australia beat India to win U-19 World Cup title

Hugh Weibgen, Captain of Australia, lifts the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup trophy with teammates as they celebrate after defeating India to win the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup South Africa 2024 title. (Credit: Getty Images)

India’s nemesis

In the past seven months, Australia have edged past India in three ICC tournament finals. The first win came in the World Test Championship (WTC) 2023 final in June 2013 at the Oval, where Rohit Sharma’s Indian team lost the summit clash by 209 runs. Four months later, India, unbeaten and hot favourites to win the ODI World Cup title, were dismantled again by the ruthless Australian side led brilliantly by Pat Cummins. Three months after that fateful evening in Ahmedabad, it was Deja Vu all over again for India, who lost another final to Australia, this time at the U-19 stage.

India fell at the final hurdle in ODI WC 2023.

FILE – India’s captain Rohit Sharma stands during award ceremony with his teammates after the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup final match between India and Australia in Ahmedabad. (Image: AP)

India’s knockout blues

Since winning the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy under the leadership of MS Dhoni, India, at both junior and senior levels, have lost 12 knockout matches (8 finals, 4 semis). While the senior team have lost nine knockout matches, the U-19 side has tasted defeat in three knockout games. During this disappointing period of a decade, India have won three ICC titles – all at the U-19 stage with the men’s team claiming the trophies in 2018 and 2022 while the women’s team clinching the inaugural title in 2023.

India’s horrendous record in ICC knockouts since 2013 Champions Trophy victory

Year Tournament
2014 T20 World Cup final
2015 ODI World Cup semi-final
2016 T20 World Cup semi-final
2016 U-19 World Cup final
2017 Champions Trophy final
2019 ODI World Cup semi-final
2020 U-19 World Cup final
2021 WTC final
2022 T20 World Cup semi-final
2023 WTC final
2023 ODI World Cup final
2024 U-19 World Cup final

A domination like no other

The U-19 World Cup title was Australia’s 27th ICC title (Men’s/Men’s U19 & Women’s/Women’s U19). While the Australian men’s team has six won ODI World Cup titles, the women’s team has claimed a whopping seven ODI World Cup titles to their name. The AUS women’s team has clinched six T20 World Cup titles while the men’s team has won the trophy once. The Under-19 team has also won four world titles with their tally only behind India’s five crowns. The Kookaburras have also tasted success in the Champions Trophy, winning the tournament twice.

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