Harjas Singh scored a gritty half-century against India in the U19 World Cup final. He made 55 runs off 64 deliveries, while opener Harry Dixon (42), Hugh Weibgen (48), and Oliver Peake (46*) made significant contributions to help Australia post 253.
Notably, Harjas was going through an extremely rough patch in the tournament as he had 49 runs in six matches, But on the night of the final, the 19-year-old all-rounder stepped up and played a memorable innings at Willowmoore Park in Benoni. He came out to bat when the Kangaroos were reduced to 99/3 but he stood tall and registered the highest individual score for Australia in the summit clash.
Hailing from an Indian family, Harjas was born in Sydney in 2005, five years after his parents decided to move from Punjab’s Chandigarh to Australia. Growing up, he always enjoyed cricket and joined Revesby Workers Cricket Club at just 8 years of age. Later, he went on to play for Westfield Sports High School in Fairfield.
Sports runs in Harjas’ blood as his father Inderjit was a state boxing champion in Punjab, while his mother, Avinder Kaur, was a state-level long jumper. Ahead of the World Cup, the cricketer revealed that his uncle still lives in Punjab and he last visited India in 2015.
“I still have family back in Chandigarh and Amritsar. We have a house in Sector 44-D, but the last time I was there was 2015. Thereafter, cricket took over, and I never got the opportunity. My uncle still lives there,” Harjas was quoted as saying by Times Now.
Notably, after his incredible knock in the final, Harjas mentioned that he took some time to settle down and decided to punish the bad balls. He also revealed that playing spin is his biggest strength.
“To start off, the pacers and spinners were bowling well. I took my time with the field spread out, then when the bad balls were there to hit, I hit them. Playing spin is certainly my strong point and we had our tour to Sri Lanka in the off period, that has certainly helped me. We are happy with this total, given our bowling performance and how good our quicks have been. Hopefully, we can defend it,” Harjas said.