India continued their dominance at the Under-19 World Cups by winning a record-extending fifth title on Saturday night in Antigua. Throughout the tournament there have been several star performers for India in their unblemished run to the U-19 World Cup crown, but in the final one man stood out and laid his hands on the biggest stage for a cricketer in budding. His name: Raj Angad Bawa. The all-rounder made key contributions with both bat and ball in the U-19 World Cup final against England to win the man of the match award.
Taking action when it matters most seems to run in the family. Raj Bawa is the grandson of Tarlochan Singh Bawa, a member of the Indian hockey team that won the gold medal at the 1948 Olympics.
Indeed, Tarlochan also made a huge impact for India at the 1948 London Olympics, scoring two goals, one of which came in the final against hosts Great Britain.
Although it was the Indian team’s fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal, it was their first under the Indian tricolor instead of the Union flag.
Fast-forward 74 years, and Tarlochan’s grandson, Raj Bawa, is creating his own legacy and bringing laurels to the country, the only difference being that he’s doing it on a cricket pitch instead of hockey.
It wasn’t as if Raj Bawa performed alone in the final. Throughout the tournament, Bawa displayed his brilliant skills with both the bat and the ball.
He was in top form in the match against Uganda, smashing 162 not just 108 balls.
In the final, Bawa made a big impact. He became the first Indian cricketer to bag a fife in an ICC tournament final and then followed it up with a crucial 54-ball 35 as India chased the 190-run target with four wickets remaining and 14 balls out. surplus.
Bawa ended up being India’s second-biggest run-catcher in the tournament and the team’s third-biggest wicket-catcher.
He scored a total of 252 runs in the U-19 World Cup with an average of 63 and a strike rate of 100.80. The 19-year-old was behind only Vicky Ostwal (12) and Ravi Kumar (10) on the list of India’s top wicket-takers.
Bawa took a total of nine wickets at an average of 16.66 and an economic rate of 4.50.