"There's nothing more satisfying than hearing a big crowd go silent," said Pat Cummins on the eve of the 2023 ODI World Cup final. The Australian captain and team literally silenced the entire nation by handing Team India a heartbreaking defeat at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday, November 19.
Not only was the encounter reminiscent of the 2003 World Cup in Johannesburg, but the result was also similar. Australia became champions of ODI cricket with a dominant six-wicket win. They added a sixth silverware to their trophy cabinet and are now champions in both 50-over cricket and Test cricket.
India were outclassed in both batting and bowling departments. Both the captains got what they wanted in the toss. However, it must be said that Cummins clearly read the pitch behaviour, sending India to bat first. On a challenging surface to bat on, Rohit Sharma, as usual, provided a flying start for the team. Even after losing his partner Shubman Gill early on, the Indian skipper did not stop his onslaught.
Virat Kohli also looked solid at the start with a couple of boundaries, but Australia soon applied breaks by taking the wicket of Rohit. A screamer from Travis Head sent the veteran opener packing for 47 runs in the 10th over. The in-form Shreyas Iyer also got out cheaply and with Kohli and Rahul adopting a defensive approach, Australia gained the upper hand.
The two right-handers steadied the ship with a low strike rate as they needed to keep wickets in hand. A 60-plus partnership was stitched between them, with Kohli notching up his 9th fifty-plus score in the tournament. India went back to the backseat as the former Indian captain got out soon after his half-century. Suryakumar Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja failed to find resistance but Rahul's 66 helped India somehow reach a total of 240.
Travis Head - the Player of the Match
Australia were chasing a below-par total but overcoming the pressure of the final in front of a blue sea was never going to be easy. Mohammed Shami gave the first breakthrough for India by removing the dangerous David Warner. Mitchell Marsh tried to take on the Indian pacers, but Jasprit Bumrah got rid of the power-hitter in the fifth over.
A couple of overs later, Bumrah sent Steve Smith back to the pavilion and the crowd erupted in joy. India were in the driver's seat as Australia were reduced to 47/3. However, Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne ensured they did not lose further wickets and played brilliantly. Head, who was in attacking mode right from the start, didn't let any of the Indian bowlers trouble him.
Head joined the elite list of players to score a century in the World Cup finals. Labuschagne, who provided strong support, brought up his half-century, but he may have felt he scored a century given the contest of the game. Australia crossed the target in 43 overs. Head was adjudged Player of the Match for his sensational 137 off 120 balls.
Here's how fans reacted to Australia winning the 2023 ODI World Cup:
They were the best on the day— usama ali (@usamaworld1) November 19, 2023
CHAMPS !! WINNING WC IN THEIR GENETICS 😂🚨— SKY🌤️ (@_iammsk_) November 19, 2023
This man will hurt the Indians for decades pic.twitter.com/h07DlNhQeY— S7 (@Salikk_07) November 19, 2023
It's ok indian— Ibriz🦋 (@itx_ibrazyy) November 19, 2023
Apne overall bhut acha khla hai
Don't be sad ap winner ho
Well payed Asussies, it’s bad luck for us 💔💔— Manu (@virat_facts) November 19, 2023
India Will Never Forget Ricky Pointing for 2003 and now Travis Head For 2023 Tragedy— Rizvi Tweets 🇵🇰🇮🇹 (@Shah_Rizvi97) November 19, 2023
Well played Team India 🤗— Raghav 🌟 (@_there4you) November 19, 2023
We are still Proud of you
It was never easy winning the cup but this man made it look easy... MS Dhoni— बदहवासゞ (@badhwaas) November 19, 2023
Such a painful day 🤧🥲😭 Dukh Dard Pida 💔— GORDXROHIT (@gordxrohit) November 19, 2023