How India won the U19 Women’s T20 World Cup
Wins – 6
Losses – 1
Finishing position – Winners
India’s path to becoming World Champions was built on the platform set by the opening batters, with captain Shafali Verma and tournament top-scorer Shweta Sehrawat proving pivotal.
The impact of the bowling attack was more of a combined effort, with Parshavi Chopra (11), Mannat Kashyap (9) and Archana Devi (8) all among the leading wicket-takers in the tournament, each finishing inside the top ten.
A defeat to Australia in the Super Six stage gave India some concern that they could miss out on qualification for the semi-finals.
But their volume of runs and impressive net run rate sealed a spot in the final four, where the squad’s quality shone through.
Verma and wicket-keeper Richa Ghosh already have plenty of senior international experience. But on the evidence of this tournament, the pair are likely to be joined at the senior level by a number of this U19 squad in the not-distant future.
STAR PERFORMER – Shweta Sehrawat
297 runs in seven innings at an average of 99 – that is a remarkable return for India’s talented opening batter.
The left-hander was only dismissed three times in the tournament, and finished ahead of England’s Grace Scrivens as the leading run-scorer at the World Cup.
She has a classy, laid-back style that looks ready-made for the step up to senior level, and a call-up surely can't be far away.
NOTABLE MENTION – Shafali Verma
Verma was the most experienced player at the tournament, with 74 caps to her name for the senior India side across formats.
But the all-rounder, who turned 19 the day before the final, will also have gained a great deal from this outing at U19 level.
Captaining a side at a World Cup is terrific preparation for potentially stepping up to the same role with the senior side in the future, and she also showed that she remains dominant with the bat and really quite handy with the ball in hand.
She used herself sparingly with the ball, mainly operating as a bowler who could keep things tight. But her returns of 1/7 in the semi-final and 1/16 in the final were an indication that she has the control to really trouble the better batters out there.
And with the willow in hand she was destructive at the top of the order, hitting 172 runs in a manner that lit up the tournament and got India off to fast starts. She finished the competition with a strike rate of 193.25 – comfortably the highest of any recognised batter.
WHAT THE COACH SAID
"The most special thing about (this group) is the belief," India coach Nooshin Al Khadeer said.
"It was a bad game against Australia but the way they have gathered and played thereafter, all credit to the vibes we have.
“We kept it very simple; we thought we would just play proper cricket and simple cricket, and we would achieve this.
"We have a good future back in India."
HOW THE CAPTAIN REACTED
Shafali Verma was brought to tears by the emotion of leading her side to the U19 title. But the youngster was quick to point out that she is ready to shift focus in time for the senior event.
"I am someone who focuses on task at hand,” she said.
"When I entered the Under-19s, I only focused on winning the Under-19 Cup and we have won that today.
"I will look to take this winning confidence with me and win the senior World Cup.
"I will try and forget this and get involved with the senior setup and gel with the team and win the World Cup."
INDIA’S PATH TO THE TITLE
South Africa – Won by 7 wickets
UAE – Won by 122 runs
Scotland – Won by 85 runs
Australia – Lost by 7 wickets
Sri Lanka – Won by 7 wickets
New Zealand – Won by 8 wickets
England – Won by 7 wickets