Former England cricketer Michael Vaughan was highly impressed with India U19 all-rounder Raj Bawa’s exploits in the recently-concluded U19 World Cup in the West Indies. The 19-year-old was on top of his game in the multi-nation tournament. He was India’s leading run-scorer in the tournament, having notched 252 runs from six games at an average of 63 and a strike rate of 100.80.
His top-score of an unbeaten 162 came against Uganda on January 22 at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad. On the back of his knock that came off 108 balls with 14 fours and eight sixes India won the game by a mammoth margin of 326 runs. With the ball, Bawa accounted for nine scalps at a decent economy rate of 4.50.
Michael Vaughan lauds Raj Bawa
But the performance that impressed Vaughan came in the final of the tournament against Tom Prest’s England on Saturday, February 5 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua. In the final, Bawa put his best foot forward and got the Player of the Match award as India won the match by six wickets in a closely-fought affair.
Bawa was on top of his game as he returned with figures of 9.5-1-31-5. After England elected to bat first, fast bowler Ravi Kumar started wreaking havoc, after which Bawa broke the backbone of the opposition batting unit. Bawa got the prized wickets of George Thomas, Will Luxton, George Bell, Rehan Ahmed and Joshua Boyden.
On the back of Bawa’s fifer, the Boys in Blue bowled England out for 189 in 44.5 overs. In India’s run-chase, Bawa came to bat after India found themselves at 97 for the loss of four wickets in 28.2 overs.
With a lot of work still left to be done, Bawa played a handy knock of 35 runs off 54 balls with the help of five fours and one six. He was also involved in a 67-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Nishant Sindhu, who scored an unbeaten 50.
Vaughan said that Bawa could well be the answer to India’s search for a genuine all-rounder Vaughan took to Twitter and wrote, “Raj Bawa could quite possibly be that seam bowling all rounder #India have been craving for years .. #U19CWC.”
Michael Vaughan’s tweet
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) February 5, 2022