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ICC U-19 WC, Benoni: India tolerate Maphaka fire to reach 8th U-19 WC Final

India reaches their 8th U-19 WC Final

Anyone who thought India’s win over hosts South Africa in the ICC Men’s U-19 World Cup 2024 at Benoni was easy, they must have only followed the scorecard and not the whole game, or perhaps not a single bit of it. The way Kwena Maphaka and Tristan Luus led the pace bowling charge of South Africa, it can only develop the quality of the game in coming generation.

At 32/4, all the batters of India was dancing and jumping on the fired-up pace against both the pacers, and even when the Proteas were batting, they too were facing the music and having so much trouble to score runs against both pacers and quality India spinners.

India's new generation
©- ESPNcricinfo/ Twitter

The ground has a different clay that they use in that part of the country. And the grounds men don’t really use much of water on the soil and the grass, because it’s so much lively.

Maphaka showed the explanation of pace and bounce

The guys in the South Africa team says that Kwena Maphaka generally bowls with sheer pace of 140 kmph on a regular basics with swing and bounce on offer. It’s certainly the case. His first ball of the semifinal to Adarsh Singh was a prime example of it.

A practically unplayable ball that took off from the length stride and made the batter play it at an awkward position. Adarsh tried to fend it away but could glove it to the keeper. Maphaka was around 15, when he played his first Under-19 international game, and around three when he picked up a cricket ball for the very first time.

“The first memory that I have is from about four years old, and it was of typical garden cricket with an older brother.” Maphaka told to ESPNcricinfo. His 21 wickets in this edition of the World Cup is the highest by any South Africa bowler, going past Wayne Parnell’s 16 in 2008.

Maphaka is quick and also being a left hander, produces an angle that makes it so tough for the batters to judge and adjust to their shot selections. His bowling action reminds one of Lonwabo Tsotsobe, one of those old pacer in South Africa, famous for his bowling in white ball series for a certain period of time.

Maphaka shows fire in pace bowling
©- Mufaddal Vohra/ Twitter

“I’ve always wanted to make as high a team as I can in every sport I play.” Described Maphaka, who anticipated to leave Hockey, once he earns success from his cricket.

Maphaka also tried to put his attention towards gymnastics and sprinting, besides playing Hockey and Tennis. St Stithians, an elite Johannesburg club is famous for many reasons, but one of them is to gift the country’s finest cricketer’s of all-time, Kagiso Rabada, who had become a ‘mentor’ of Maphaka and also sent him a message prior to the tournament.

His time for the Paarl Royals in the SA20, where he would meet more international and senior cricket exposure will keep the graph on the skyline. Going against the best is always the key to promote yourself, and Maphaka has full belief in the theory.

Sachin-Saharan’s magical partnership draws new experience

A fifty over tournament when India’s top order has scored bulk of the runs for the whole tournament, and on a semi-final day, the middle order has been asked to walk on the fire. A left-arm and right-arm duo are breaking their back. You have surely witnessed it; it’s a classic!

But unlike the nightmare of 2019 for the senior group of guys, the 171-run fifth wicket stand between Sachin Dhas, the man who missed out on a well deserving century by just 4-runs, and captain Uday Saharan, who almost carried the team home with an 81-run knock, kept them in the hunt and actually gave them the success.

Dhas is named after Tendulkar, the second favorite of his father after Sunil Gavaskar. But he said that the young generation would identify with Tendulkar more than Gavaskar, which is why it became Sachin Dhas, rather than Sunil Dhas. His dad had already decided his son’s career even before he breathed first.

Saharan and Dhas carried India to the final
©- Jay Shah/ Twitter

Dhas trained in Beed in the age groups. While he was playing a game in Pune, and whacking those big sixes, the organizers came and checked the size of his bat to clarify that Sachin wasn’t cheating. The rolling of the wrists in his pull shots and an extra bit of time with a perfect balance would also attract the spectators while he is batting.

Saharan, on the other hand, coming from Punjab, looks up to Virat Kohli as his idol. The son of a Ayurvedic doctor, Sanjeev Saharan, Uday has prepared himself in the home nets. It was just a few weeks ago after the U-19 Asia Cup that he became the captain of the India team.

A bright future stays, but young guns need to manage them carefully

It’s the job of their coach, their parents, and most importantly the players themselves to hold their shape at this young age. There is a young opener, Prithvi Shaw, and you look at him batting, and you go, this boy is born to bat, but then he has done something at the beginning of his career, which he shouldn’t have done and it actually in a way has snatched a good amount of years of his cricketing career.

Managing players is the most vital aspect, and specially when they are associated with India. There will lakhs of cameras, and scrutiny on them all the time. Even for South Africa, or Australia, or any other young pacer, carrying those young lads, in cricketing lessons and beyond that in life, becomes the essential part.

Sky is Blue, Roses are Red & Bumrah is the Best at Present

The boards need to take care of them. The way those two pacers bowled in the semi, or the way Maphaka has been performing throughout the tournament, or some of the India batters have been doing, the best way will be given them the international exposure early, and keep an eye on them outside the field too.

They the bright future of the upcoming generation. But the road to success needs to be on the right track.

That Mad Writer
Author: That Mad Writer

Someone who loves how Steve Smith from being Australia's future Shane Warne has become present Don Bradman, gets inspired by Anderson's longevity, gets awed with Kohli's drive and Southee's bowling action. Never gets excited with stats and records, and believes in instincts, and always questions spinners bowling with the new ball.

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