Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated India’s Under-19 cricket team on winning a record fifth World Cup crown on Saturday, saying the "stellar performance" of the side proves that the future of the game in the country is in "safe and able hands".
An utterly dominant India beat England by four wickets in the final of an extraordinary campaign that was almost derailed by a COVID-19 outbreak.
"Extremely proud of our young cricketers. Congratulations to the Indian team for winning the ICC U19 World Cup. They have shown great fortitude through the tournament. Their stellar performance at the highest level shows that the future of Indian cricket is in safe and able hands," Modi tweeted on Sunday.
Modi's cabinet colleague Nitin Gadkari, who is Minister of Road Transport and Highways, also took to the social media platform to congratulate the Under-19 team.
"Hearty congratulations and congratulations to the young players of the Indian team for winning the ICC Under-19 World Cup. The stellar performance of the entire team underlines the future of Indian cricket. The whole nation is proud of your success," he tweeted.
Set 190 for victory, India's run chase was dealt an early blow when opener Angkrish Raghuvanshi was tamely caught behind off Joshua Boyden's second ball of the innings before Harnoor Singh and Shaik Rasheed settled in and saw off the new ball.
But England, looking to win only their second title, kept chapping away and reduced the opposition to 97-4 before a 67-run stand between Sindhu (50 not out) and Bawa (35) swung the momentum back in India's favour.
Wicketkeeper Dinesh Bana finished off the job in style, smashing consecutive sixes off James Sales to take India home.
Earlier, England won the toss and opted to bat but India made a blistering start with the ball through medium pacer Ravi Kumar (4-34), as opener Jacob Bethell was dismissed for 2 and skipper Tom Prest was bowled for a duck.
England were reeling at 61-6 after Raj Bawa (5-31) ripped through the middle order but James Rew (95) and James Sales (34 not out) stitched together a 93-run stand to keep them in the hunt.