Methodical Australia outplay India to lift sixth World Cup trophy
Travis Head smashes unbeaten century
AHMEDABAD (Web Desk) – Australia defeated India by six wickets to lift the World Cup for the sixth time at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday.
Chasing a modest total of 241 runs, Australia lost three early wickets for 47 runs. David Warner departed for seven runs in the second over of the innings. Later, Marsh and Smith also fell cheaply.
Then Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne built a match-winning partnership of 192 runs and guided their team to victory. Head smashed a century and got out for 137 runs. Marnus scored unbeaten 58 runs. They achieved the target in 43rd over.
India’s Bumrah took two wickets while Shami got one scalp.
Earlier, Australian skipper Pat Cummins won the toss and put India into bat. India were off to a good start but succumbed to home ground pressure lost three wickets inside 100 runs.
Australia drew first blood when opener Shubman Gill was removed in the fifth over by Mitchell Starc. He had scored four runs off seven deliveries.
Captain Rohit Sharma seemed to heading towards another big score but Glenn Maxwell cut his stay at the crease short. He had hit three sixes and four boundaries in his 31-ball knock of 47.
Shreyas Iyer went back to pavilion hitting just one four by skipper Pat Cummins.
Experienced Virat Kohli steadied the innings but could not post a big total as Cummins shattered his timber at 148 on the board for a personal 54. It was an unlike Kohli innings as he took 63 deliveries to compile it.
Australia bowled out the South Asia side for 241 in the final over.
Mitchell Starc took three wickets, while captain Pat Cummins and Hazlewood grabbed two scalps each. Adam Zampa also got one wicket.
"Dew is one factor and it's quite dewy in the night at this venue," Cummins said explaining his decision.
"I'm really proud of the group. Tough start to the tournament but they haven't put a foot wrong since."
Home captain Rohit Sharma said he would have preferred to bat first anyways.
"I would've batted first, big game and runs on the board," the opener said.
"It's the biggest occasion, in terms of cricketing events. We got to stay nice and calm."
"It's a dream come true to captain the team in the final."
India captain Rohit Sharma insists the “emotions” and “pressure” as hosts of the Cricket World Cup will not get to his side in Sunday’s final.
India have long been the heavy favourites for the tournament and, with a perfect 10 so far in this edition, nothing has changed in advance of their showdown with Australia in Ahmedabad.
It would be a third World Cup for India, building on the home win in 2011 that saw an eruption of joy across the nation of 1.5 billion people.
“Emotionally it’s a big, big thing,” Rohit said before the final.
“Leading up to every game we have been quite composed, quite calm about what we want to do because we know how it is outside the environment we have.
“The expectations and the pressure, criticism and everything, so it’s important we stick to our strength and what we want to do as a team.
“Along with me, all other 10 players who will play on the ground, their focus will be more on their work for the team, rather than thinking about ‘this is the biggest moment of my life’.”
The 2011 final was held at the Wankhede Stadium Mumbai where MS Dhoni lifted the trophy after overcoming co-hosts Sri Lanka.
Aside from that win, India have underwhelmed at the World Cup ever since their 2003 defeat in the final to Australia.
India coach Rahul Dravid was on the losing side that day and Rohit says they want to rectify matters for Dravid, who was part of the abortive 2007 campaign and then lost his place by the time of the 2011 win.
“His role has been immense,” Rohit said of the team’s coach. “Obviously, what he has done for Indian cricket is massive. And he also feels that he wants to be part of this big occasion. It’s for us to do it for him.”
What lies in store for Australia is quite clear and captain Pat Cummins, says his team must “embrace” the challenge of facing their opponents, the enormous crowd in Ahmedabad Stadium and the will of 1.5 billion people.
“You’ve got to embrace it, the crowd’s obviously going to be very one-sided,” Cummins said.
“Also in sport, there’s nothing more satisfying [as an opposition player] than hearing a big crowd go silent and that’s the aim for us.
“You’ve just got to embrace every part of it, every part of a final – you know in the lead-up there’s going to be noise and more people and interest and you just can’t get overwhelmed.
“You got to be up for it, you got to love it and just know whatever happens it’s fine but you just want to finish the day with no regrets.”
The right-arm seamer, 30, has been much needed with the bat, including in the semifinal against South Africa.
The spotlight of facing the hosts in the final is not something that holds any fear for Cummins or his team, as most play alongside the Indian players in the Indian Premier League.
“We play over here in India a lot so the noise is not something new,” he said.
“On this scale, it’s probably bigger than we would have experienced before, but it’s not something totally foreign.
“It’s going to be awesome,” said Cummins. “They’ve been playing really well – undefeated this tournament.
“But we know at our best we can give them a good shake.”
INDIA: 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Shreyas Iyer, 5 KL Rahul (wk), 6 Suryakumar Yadav, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Mohammed Shami, 9 Jasprit Bumrah, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Mohammed Siraj.
AUSTRALIA: 1 David Warner, 2 Travis Head, 3 Mitchell Marsh, 4 Steven Smith, 5 Marnus Labuschagne, 6 Glenn Maxwell, 7 Josh Inglis (wk), 8 Mitchell Starc, 9 Pat Cummins (capt), 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood.