By Satej Paknikar | Opening Doorz Editorial | November 19, 2023 CWC 2023 Final India-Australia The ICC Men’s ODI Cricket World Cup Final is just a few hours away. A Billion Indian Cricket […]
By Satej Paknikar | Opening Doorz Editorial | November 19, 2023
CWC 2023 Final India-Australia
The ICC Men’s ODI Cricket World Cup Final is just a few hours away. A Billion Indian Cricket lovers across the world are waiting for the action to unfold. A few days ago, watching ‘live’ action seated at the Eden Gardens at Kolkatta, Australia defeated South Africa in a humdinger. The Aussies showed their temperament and grit, as they ‘hung in there’ to edge out a plucky South African side who came back strongly. Their total was under 30 runs short.
In the end, Pat Cummins and his mates outwitted the Proteas 10/10—in the first 10 overs, either side of the innings. They now face the Indian Team who has had a 10/10 Dream Run to get here. The cricket-crazy fan is now hoping the Indian team returns the favor of the 2003 final loss to the Aussies.
The India-Australia rivalry over the years has been a fierce one, especially in World Cups. Be it Steve Smith’s century in the 2015 semi-final or Yuvraj Singh’s stellar innings in the 2011 quarter-final. And of course, who can forget the 2003 final where India was blown away by the Ponting Blitz?
Today, the world will witness another enthralling chapter in this epic rivalry.
India Play as a Team Throughout
When you say Australia, you almost instantly hear ‘Dominance’—a trait that has made them finalists seven times, winning five of those. Today, the Aussies will play their Eighth final against an Indian team whose ‘dominance’ has been telling. This has been their best unbeaten streak! The biggest factor that puts India ahead of the Aussies in this final and this edition is playing as a Team—another Aussie trait seen best in their hat-trick of titles in 1999, 2003, and 2007.
In this Edition, the Aussies have faltered in that regard on more than one occasion only for individual heroics to save them the blushes. In the context of team play, India’s two title wins in 1983 and 2011 came through excellent team spirit, where everyone chipped in. Something tells me Dravid has his Goliaths lined up for one final blow… as a ‘team’.
This Indian team of 2023 is much like the Aussie team of 2003 who ruthlessly dismantled the opposition en route to the finals. Ironically, the Aussies in this Edition have been far from consistent, sometimes even jittery. The one-legged heroics of Glenn Maxwell are not the stuff that happens every day!
Having had six different ‘Man Of The Match’ Awards in 10 games, India is looking like a well-oiled machine. The Aussies are most likely going to need to play out of their skin— more than the mind games—to get it past the Indians this time.
Throughout this World Cup, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill have given electrifying starts and are due for big ones, Rohit against his favorite opposition and Gill at his favorite venue. Jasprit Bumrah has been India’s best bowler without much luck and will be banked upon once again. Hopefully, he finds some luck this time, in the wicket column!
Australia Will Look for a ‘Head’ Start
Australia will hope Travis Head continues his bat-swinging and Mitchell Starc his ball-swinging form. They will also be hoping David Warner survives the opening burst, Steve Smith powers the play and Maxwell somehow delivers that atrocious 720 Afghan innings once again. If they can get it past Sizzling Siraj, Sensational Shami, Sensible Kuldeep, and local boy, Sir Jadeja, of course!
As dominant as India has been in this tournament, Rahul Dravid, Rohit Sharma, and the Support Staff have all bases covered, along with a ‘one-game-at-a-time’ approach to ensure no complacency creeps in.
Irrespective of the titles Australia has won in the past, it appears that this Indian team under Rohit Sharma is firmly set to push Pat Cummins’ team to bend, this time around.
On the backdrop of the 2003 and the 2022 WTC Final defeats to Australia, let’s bring it on, and put the Oz Down Under.
(Satej Paknikar, studying for his MBA in Sports Management from the Institute for Sports, Science & Technology (ISST Pune ), has been working in different capacities as an intern for this ICC ODI Cricket World Cup 2023. He is a keen observer of the sport).
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