Breaking the hearts of over 1.4 billion Indians, Australia clinched a resounding six-wicket victory against India in front of a stunned crowd of 130,000 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday evening. This win secured the Australians their record-extending sixth World Cup trophy, solidifying their status as the most dominant team the sport has ever seen.
Travis Head’s remarkable innings of 137, complemented by Marnus Labuschagne’s composed 58*, formed a super partnership that left India with no chance of a comeback. Australia secured the win with 42 balls to spare, with Glenn Maxwell delivering the final blows.
Despite chasing a sub-par total of 241, Australia faced a shaky start as India claimed three wickets in the first powerplay. Opener David Warner, dropped in the first over between Virat Kohli and Shubman Gill, failed to capitalize and fell to Mohammed Shami. Skipper Rohit Sharma’s decision to open with Shami, traditionally a first-change bowler, backfired as he struggled with wayward lines.
Jasprit Bumrah struck with consecutive overs, dismissing Mitchell Marsh and Steve Smith. Smith’s dismissal was contentious, as replays suggested the ball impact was outside the line when he was adjudged LBW.
With the game finely poised at 47/3, India lost momentum, allowing Head and Labuschagne to settle in. Head punished poor deliveries, while Rohit’s lack of urgency surprised many. Despite early breakthroughs by pacers, spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja failed to make an impact, and Australian batters maneuvered them with ease.
India found themselves outsmarted and outplayed in all departments, reliving the haunting memories of the 2003 World Cup humiliation for a new generation of fans.
The match’s turning point occurred in the first innings when India squandered their early advantage. Opting to bat first, India started well with Rohit dominating the bowlers. However, Shubman Gill’s dismissal and Rohit’s exit in the 11th over halted their momentum. The Australian bowlers applied pressure, restricting India to just four boundaries after Rohit’s departure.
Despite Virat Kohli’s fifth consecutive half-century, India struggled to gain momentum. KL Rahul contributed, but fell victim to Mitchell Starc’s reverse swing. The Indian lower order, untested in the tournament, couldn’t withstand the assault, resulting in a total of 240 – a considerable shortfall from the par total. The defeat extends India’s quest for an ICC trophy, with their last victory in the Champions Trophy dating back to 2013.
‘Nothing more satisfying than hearing a big crowd go silent’
Australia captain Pat Cummins had earlier on Saturday said that, in sport, nothing is more satisfying than silencing a partisan crowd. “The crowd’s obviously going to be very one-sided,” he said.
“But in sport, there’s nothing more satisfying than hearing a big crowd go silent and that’s the aim for us tomorrow,” he had said. The following afternoon, Cummins got his wish.
Pat Cummins dismissed Virat Kohli to silence the crowd; Australia defeated India by 6 wickets with 42 balls left in the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in front of 1,30,000 people.