Ahmedabad, November 19
In a repeat of the 2003 Cricket World Cup final, India will lock horns in the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup against Australia at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday.
India reached the finals following a 70-run win over New Zealand in the semifinal at Mumbai. India has entered its fourth World Cup final, having won the title in 1983 and 2011 while they lost in 2003 against Australia in South Africa by 125 runs. India will be aiming for their third title and avenging the heartbreaking loss to mighty Aussies that day in Johannesburg.
In the second semifinal, Australia beat South Africa in another tight game at Kolkata by three wickets to reach their eighth WC final. Aussies have won five World Cups previously in 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2015.
In their undefeated run in the tournament, India has not done anything wrong. Their top order has fired runs with an attacking intent that puts the opponent on the back in the starting itself. The middle-order offers a mix of aggression and stability that not a lot of teams have brought in this tournament. The pace attack has been fiery throughout the tournament while spinners have been bamboozling and hard to read. Except for a few moments where India’s top order gave away or certain bowlers looked off-colour, Team India maintained its dominance and the result is, 10 wins in 10 games.
The Indian top-order consisting of openers Rohit Sharma (550 runs) and Shubman Gill (350 runs) and Virat Kohli (711 runs) will have to give a good start to Men in Blue no matter whether batting first or second. Though the aggressive approach of Rohit-Gill has bore fruits so far, they might have to slow down just a little bit against a world-class pace attack consisting of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and skipper Pat Cummins. If the aggression continues however and bowlers look off-colour, it would be a golden opportunity for India to maximise on.
Rohit also has a fantastic ODI record against Australia. In 44 ODIs against Aussies, he has scored 2,332 runs at an average of 58.30, with eight centuries and nine fifties. His best score is 209.