Australia's captain William Bosisto has said that he is proud of the way his Under-19 side played at the World Cup in Townsville, despite the disappointment of losing the final to India at Tony Ireland Stadium. Bosisto was named Player of the Tournament after his 87 helped Australia recover from 38 for 4 to 225 and he finished the World Cup with an average of 276, having been dismissed only once in six innings.
"We were obviously here to win and that didn't happen but I am pretty proud of the boys and the way we went about it," Bosisto said. "Today wasn't our day but we've been fantastic over two or three weeks. I think that's a great show of our character."
Australia lost the toss and were batting first only for the second time at Tony Ireland Stadium. They once again lost early wickets but Bosisto said they were pleased with the total they achieved. Travis Head and Ashton Turner made vital contributions to two middle-order partnerships that revived Australia.
"We were rapt. Going out to bat we were looking for 200-210, so to get 225 we were stoked," Bosisto said. "That was above what we were aiming for so we were happy, confident to defend that. To lose the toss and bat first was not the worst thing."
The major problem Australia, and most other teams, have had through the World Cup is a misfiring top order. Jimmy Peirson and Meyrick Buchanan scored 111 runs in 11 innings in Townsville and Australia were often very little for two in every game.
"I think we can be really satisfied with how we have gone," Bosisto said. "Leading up to this moment, we have hardly put a foot wrong, it's hard batting at the top, that's probably been our one constant downfall I suppose. It's so tough against that new ball on wickets that are doing a little bit. I think the ball is doing a little bit more than maybe the 10-15 mark and then on it's quite flat, but I think early on is the hardest period. It's a big ask to ask of the top order."
In the final, Australia began the defence of 225 by dismissing Prashant Chopra in the second over and then came back strongly after India had reached 75 for 1 in the 14th over. However, they did not take the chances presented to them, the wicketkeeper Peirson dropped Unmukt Chand on 38 and Smit Patel on 2. Chand went on to make 111 and Patel 62. Their 130-run stand for the fifth wicket won India the game. Australia also had another opportunity to dismiss Chand, when India needed 49, but Bosisto failed to take the catch at midwicket.
"I think maybe our fielding wasn't as good as it has been throughout the tournament. We dropped a few chances, I dropped Unmukt a bit later on, that would have made it interesting," Bosisto said. "Looking back on it, it [his drop] probably was [the turning point], but at the time that wasn't my thought process. I was sort of thinking if we can get a couple of quick ones then we are right back in it. We had managed to get one and then needed maybe one more but that last partnership from them was really mature and they didn't really look like getting out apart from my chance."
George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo