Australia captain Jason Sangha was magnanimous in defeat after his side were beaten in the 2018 ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup final by India, saying he can learn a great deal from the tournament's winners. Australia lost by eight wickets at the Bay Oval in Tauranga, with opener Manjot Kalra's unbeaten hundred taking India comfortably to their target.
After Australia batted first Jonathan Merlo scored a valuable 76, but struggled for partners with contributions from Param Uppal (34) and Nathan McSweeney (23) not proving enough as the Indian bowlers shared out the wickets. India then chased the modest total comfortably, with Kalra (101*) well supported by Prithvi Shaw (29), Shubman Gill (31) and Harvik Desai (47), as they made 220/2 from 38.5 overs.
It was the second time India had got the better of Australia in the tournament, having beaten them in the group stages, and Sangha praised the opposition after the match.
"Full credit goes to India, they batted very well," he said. "Hopefully it's a good learning curve for us to take some stuff from this game back home. We didn't score enough. When you play a good side on a good pitch with a fast outfield [you need more runs]. Two-hundred-and-fifty would have been a better score but India batted very well. It wasn't our best start with the ball. Throughout the tournament we've been quite consistent with the ball.
"To be fair, the Indian batters played really well. They played terrific shots and as a captain it's hard to set fields to that kind of batting. I wouldn't say there was a particular moment when we lost it with the ball but they built a bit of a partnership.
"I think India have found a way to win those key moments. For us it was those first 10 overs that were going to be so crucial and India batted so well during that period. There was a time at the start with the bat when we were going quite well but India brought it back with a few wickets."
India have been the standout side throughout the tournament, and remained unbeaten across six matches. Although Gill was dismissed for under 50 for the first time in the competition, he was named Player of the Tournament for his consistency with the bat, while the fast bowling attack was always a threat.
Australia had plenty to be happy with also. Lloyd Pope's remarkable spell of 8/35 against England in the Super League quarter-final is the best set of bowling figures in U19 CWC history, while Sangha also picked out Jack Edwards, who scored 72 against Afghanistan in the Super League semi-final, as a notable performer.
"The best thing about these tournaments is that it's always a learning curve," Sangha said. "We're still teenagers so we're always going to make mistakes. I told the guys I was so proud to make the final. It's an absolute privilege to represent your country, but it wasn't our day today.
"India's fast bowling department is fantastic. They've got good fast bowlers coming through and some excellent batters. They're an all-round good team and I'm really looking forward to seeing how their players develop in the future.
"I've learnt a lot from other players and what they've done. Look at people like Gill and Prithvi, who are quite good manipulators of the ball. They can hit to any part of the ground and that's why they're really good batters. I have definitely learnt from them."