Australia didn’t start as the overwhelming favorite for the 2023 ODI World Cup. They had a lot of players who were out of form, struggled with injuries at the start of the season, and their majority of league victories were not strong enough. However, captain Pat Cummins was happy that his team “saved the best for our last” as they won the ODI World Cup for the sixth time by handily defeating hosts India, who had not lost in the competition until Sunday, by six wickets in the championship match.
He declared, “You’ve got to go and win a World Cup,” during the presentation after the game. You simply cannot wait for it to occur. I also believe that sometimes you have to be bold and take the game head-on. And after the first two games, there was a noticeable change. You could see that our openers, in especially, came out swinging with our batting and essentially didn’t let up for the duration of the competition.
“Remember that we saved the greatest for last. And a few key players raised their hands, so we’re happy with that.”
Cummins attributed Australia’s comeback, in part, to the aggressive play of their openers. The tournament’s greatest combined average of 47.86 was achieved by Australia’s opening team, whose strike rate of 111.19 was only second behind India’s 116.99.
Australia ran into difficulties in the final, trailing 241 by three points. In the second over, Mohammed Shami had dismissed David Warner for seven runs, and Jasprit Bumrah had Mitchell Marsh caught behind for fifteen. Shortly after, Bumrah trapped Steven Smith pinned in front for four runs in the seventh over, taking the vital wicket.
Only then did Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne combine for the winning partnership of 192, thereby ending India’s chances of ever getting back into the game.
“I was one of those blokes with the hearts fluttering upstairs, I was pacing [after 47 for 3],” Cummins recalled. “With a calm head, Marcus entered and exited immediately. Once again, Trav displays his characteristic bravery by taking up the game and exerting pressure on the bowlers. And it takes a lot of character to accomplish it on the largest platform.”
Australia’s fielding was just as good as their hitting with the bat or the ball. Warner, in particular, was thirty-seven years old, and he was lightning fast on the field, throwing himself to save multiple boundaries while fielding close to the rope.
“It’s been pretty much through the whole Aussie winter away overseas playing but we’ve had a lot of success and this pips it all, this is at the top of the mountain” Pat Cummins stated. “[We were] desperate for sure [on the field],” Cummins stated. “It all began in the semi-final last week in South Africa.” The lads are excellent. We also have an aging component. However, players are still swarming around during the match, particularly in such a large and crowded arena.”
Head suffered an injury at the beginning of the World Cup and ended up being named Player of the Match in the final after hitting 137 off 120 balls. But the selectors stuck with him and retained him in the team. Only in Australia’s sixth match of the competition, against New Zealand, did he make his comeback, hammering 109 off just 67 balls and contributing significantly to the team’s five-run victory. Due to his all-around performance of 62 runs and two wickets in the semi-final match against South Africa, he was also named Player of the Match.
Cummins referred to Head’s performance in the competition as “amazing.” “I believe you have to give credit to the medical staff and the selectors who helped him return, even though he was out with a broken hand. We took a significant risk, and it paid off. Travis is a legend, and you couldn’t be happier for him. He is enjoyable to watch and we adore him.”
Before the match, Cummins had declared that there was “nothing more satisfying” than to quiet the more than 100,000 spectators in Ahmedabad. That was effectively accomplished by his team, but he also remarked that, despite the biased support for India, it was a “pretty special” moment to win in front of such a large crowd.
“It (the crowd) was awesome, I must say,” he stated. “I felt fairly content. For the majority of the bowling innings, they were reliable. They raised their volume a few times, and it was quite loud. But wonderful. I find it astonishing that India has such unmatched devotion for her culture.
“The blue shirt is being worn by every single person. Looking around, you realize that this is a very unique occasion that will live on in our memories regardless of the outcome.”
Australia has excelled this season in all forms while Cummins was captain. They won the ODI World Cup, kept the Ashes in England, and defeated India in the World Test Championship final in June. It all comes down to Cummins being crowned the ODI champions.
He said, “Yeah, it’s been awesome.” “It’s been pretty much through the whole Aussie winter away overseas playing but we’ve had a lot of success and this pips it all, this is at the top of the mountain.”