Australia confident of silencing hostile Indian crowd in World Cup final

In sport, there's nothing more satisfying than hearing a big crowd go silent and that's the aim for us tomorrow, Pat Cummins said

By Reuters

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Australian captain Pat Cummins at the 132,000-capacity Narendra Modi Stadium ahead of Sunday's World Cup final against India. — ICC
Australian captain Pat Cummins at the 132,000-capacity Narendra Modi Stadium ahead of Sunday's World Cup final against India. — ICC

Published: Sat 18 Nov 2023, 11:58 AM

It was not known if Pat Cummins was searching 'How to silence a big, partisan crowd' as the Australia captain entered the press conference room fiddling with his phone but he conceded that was pretty much the plan for the World Cup final against India.

As if India's formidable batting lineup and fiery bowling attack were not handful enough, Australia will also have to deal with boisterous Indian fans, who will be egging on Rohit Sharma and his team on Sunday.

Not a single seat in the 130,000-capacity Narendra Modi Stadium is likely to stay unoccupied when five-time champions Australia clash with an India side who are unbeaten in the tournament.

Cummins said the best way to overcome a challenge like that was to embrace it.

"The crowd's obviously going to be very one-sided but in sport, there's nothing more satisfying than hearing a big crowd go silent and that's the aim for us tomorrow," he told reporters on Saturday.

"You've just got to embrace 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."

Beaten comprehensively by India in their opener, Australia strung together eight wins in a row to make the final against India, who have a perfect 10-0 record in the tournament.

"We know it's going to be a packed house. There's going to be 130,000 fans here supporting India. So it's going to be awesome," Cummins said.

"They've been playing really well, undefeated this tournament. But we know at our best we can give them a good shake."

Much of it will depend on how their new ball pair of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood fare against India's top order.

Starc bowled seven overs on the trot in their semi-final victory against South Africa sharing five wickets with Hazlewood.

"The opening partnership between him and Josh Hazlewood is going to be a big one for us," said Cummins, who is banking on their experience in global events organised by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

"We saw what impact they can have in a game when they bowl like they did the other night. So, they're both big-game players, played in a few ICC finals now, so know what it takes."

Cummins felt Australia were yet to play a "complete game" in the tournament and hoped they have preserved it for the summit clash.

"There have been no huge wins. We've had to fight for every win, but we've found a way to win," Cummins said.

"I'm taking that confidence, knowing that we don't have to be at our absolute best to challenge any team, we can find a way through it."

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