Can Australia spoil India's party in World Cup final?

Rohit knows they are up against a team who are used to winning ICC titles

By Anis Sajan

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A young man sells Indian flags outside the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Saturday. — PTI
A young man sells Indian flags outside the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Saturday. — PTI

Published: Sat 18 Nov 2023, 5:48 PM

Will Australia spoil India's party? That's what every Indian cricket fan is worried about as Team India are hoping to continue their unbeaten run in the final and lift the Cup in front of their home crowd.

Australia, on the other hand, have won eight straight matches after losing the first two, to show why they were rated as one of the favourites before the tournament.

Tomorrow's final will be five-time champions Australia's eighth appearance in a 50 overs World Cup title decider.

In the 2003 final between the two teams, it was Ricky Ponting who single handedly took the game away, hammering an unbeaten 140 off just 121 balls and the Indians had no answer to the might of that Australian team which was on a roll, winning 11 games on the trot.

Eight year later, Ponting scored another hundred against India at Ahmedabad, but it was Yuvraj Singh's brilliance which helped them chase down a 250 plus total as India got into the semifinals before MS Dhoni's team went on to win the tournament, beating Sri Lanka in the final.

But things have changed a lot since then. Australia won their fifth World Cup in 2015 at their home but after that India have dominated Australia in World Cup.

India first beat them in 2019 opener at Oval as well as in Chennai in their first game in this tournament.

The biggest difference between the team which played Australia in the early 2000 and now is the brand of cricket India have been playing. They have players who are specialist and and no bits and pieces players.

One of the main reasons India doing well in the tournament is the clarity in their mind.

They backed both Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul who were injured, and it has paid rich dividends as both the players have delivered in crunch situations.

Mohammed Shami, who got an opportunity because of an injury to Hardik Pandya, has picked 23 wickets in six games to be the leader of India's bowling attack.

And both their senior players Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have led from the front with the bat. Every player has performed and put their hand up and delivered for the team.

It will take an extraordinary effort from the Australians to stop this Indian juggernaut lifting their title, but Rohit knows they are up against a team who are used to winning ICC titles and would ensure they do not slip up.

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