Australia outbat, outbowl, outfield India in World Cup final
Ahmedabad | Where did India lose the World Cup final against Australia? Well, they lost the battle on all fronts.
Australian bowlers and fielders produced wonderful efforts and Travis Head registered a hundred for ages as Pat Cummins' side broke a billion Indian hearts to win their sixth World Cup here on Sunday.
Here's a closer look at each of those aspects that fired the Aussies to a record triumph.
When Cummins chose to bowl after winning the toss, there was a quiet disbelief. India could first use a pitch that could remain slow, and pile up a big total to put the Aussies under pressure.
But obviously Cummins had seen something we hadn't. Perhaps, he made a Holmes-que study of the surface after clicking pictures of it the previous day.
Whatever that is, the Aussie bowlers, who found some immaculate length here, responded to his call with a Herculean effort to restrict the home side to a well below par total that wasn't enough to challenge a resolute batting line-up dew or no dew.
2. India's Head-ache
The left-handed Head teamed up with Marnus Labuschagne when Australia were in a spot of bother, having lost three wickets under 50 runs. The target of 241 was not a huge one, but this Indian bowling carried the skillsets to exploit even the minutest of chances.
But Head did not give them even a creek using his twinkling feet and fast hands, while making 192 runs for the fourth-wicket with Labuschagne.
His hundred was the second against India in an ICC event final, after he cracked a 163 against them in the WTC final earlier this June.
Head was everything Indian batters weren't in the middle-overs. The South Australian was forceful against spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav, who were expected to lead India's riposte. He smashed them around using those pick-up shots over mid-on.
In fact, Head smoked 15 fours, two more than the whole Indian team managed in the match. Indian bowlers were just headless against him.
3. Australia manic on the field
The Antipodeans have always been a very good fielding side, and they raised the bar one notch up in the summit clash, saving, possibly, 40 runs. Head started that sequence.
Indian skipper Rohit Sharma started the innings in smoking style, and dismantled pacer Josh Hazlewood with a couple of sixes.
But his effort to hoist Glenn Maxwell over the circle resulted in a miscued loft, and Head ran a good few yards backwards to pouch a brilliant catch. The Aussies were outstanding in the outfield too, particularly David Warner who was exceptional near the ropes, throwing himself around to stop the shots.
Cummins too was switched on as captain, and his field placements were spot on. When Virat Kohli and KL Rahul were engaged in repair service during their fourth-wicket alliance, Cummins muffled the usually free-flowing duo with clever positioning of his personnel.
Cummins opened the cover region with a sweeper in place and closed ranks around the square-leg and mid-on areas. It was a clear ploy to force the Indian batters to take more risks to make quick runs, or contend with those workman-like singles to covers and leg-side, leaving them in two minds.
3. Cummins & Co. fire on slow pitch
Coming to the title clash, Cummins' run-rate was above six and he had taken 13 wickets from 10 matches, modest numbers for a premier fast bowler. But the New South Welshman embossed his signature on the final.
Shreyas Iyer came to the final riding on back-to-back centuries, and Kohli has been nothing short of imperious in the marquee event. The Aussies needed to silence them and Cummins did that job.
It's not just those two high-value wickets, but Cummins kept his run-rate below four and the Indian batsmen could not score even a single boundary off him in the entire innings. Just unbelievable in a high-pressure match!
But then he had support of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood too as they took seven wickets among them on a pitch that had very little for the pacers, using variations like slow bouncers and cutters.
4. Aussies have India in tail-'spin'
Australian spinners smother Indian batsmen. Sounds funny? No, it happened in Motera. Adam Zampa, Glenn Maxwell and Travis Head, is not your most conniving spin troika but together they gave away only 83 runs in 18 overs in the middle passage, draining Indian batsmen of boundaries.
Kohli and Rahul could manage only one four during their 97-ball association. India also suffered another barren spell between 41st and 50th overs, scoring just two fours through Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj.
Australia's record sixth title win and other statistical highlights
Ahmedabad | The 2023 World Cup culminated with Australia extending their World Cup title wins to six with a six-wicket win over India in the final played here on Sunday. Here are the statistical highlights of the 50-over quadrennial event in which several records were broken:
- Australia recorded their sixth World Cup win by beating India in the final of the 2023 edition. They have title wins in 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2015.
- India's Virat Kohli's 765 runs is the most for any batter in the history of the World Cup. Kohli scored his runs at a stunning average of 95.62 and strike rate of 90.31 to hit three centuries and two fifties.
- It was the first time that the 700-run barrier was broken by any batter in the World Cup history when Kohli went past Sachin Tendlkar's record of 673 runs scored in the 2003 edition.
- India's Mohammed Shami claimed 24 wickets in only seven matches at 12.20 despite missing the first four games of the league stage.
- Mohammed Shami's three five-wicket hauls are now the most for any bowler in a World Cup edition. Shami took 7/57 against New Zealand in the semifinal, 5/18 versus Sri Lanka and 5/54 against New Zealand at Dharamsala in league stage game.
- South Africa's total of 428/5 against Sri Lanka in New Delhi was the highest team total for any side in this World Cup.
- Three totals in excess of 400 were recorded in this World Cup. Apart from South Africa's highest in the tournament, India made the second-highest 410/4 against the Netherlands and New Zealand piled up 401/6 against Pakistan both at Bengaluru.
- As many as 771 runs were scored between Australia (388) and New Zealand (383/9) in Dharamsala, making the Match No 27 of the league stage as the one with the highest aggregate.
- Sri Lanka's 55 all-out against India's 357/8 in Mumbai was the lowest team total in the World Cup, while semifinalists South Africa's 83 all-out against India in Kolkata was the second lowest.
- Glenn Maxwell's sensational 201 not out off 128 balls (21x4s, 10x6s) against Afghanistan was the highest individual total for any batter in this World Cup. Maxwell also recorded the most fours hit by any batter in an innings during this World Cup.
- Pakistan's Fakhar Zaman's 11 sixes during his 81-ball 126 not out were the highest for any batter in any innings.
- South Africa's Quinton de Kock's four centuries in the World Cup were the most for any batter in the competition, followed by Kohli (3) and New Zealand's Rachin Ravindra (3).
- Australia's win over the Netherlands by 309 runs reset the record of biggest win by margin of runs for any team in World Cup history.
- Rohit Sharma surpassed Chris Gayle (49) to have hit most sixes in all World Cup editions. Rohit finished with an overall 54 sixes, of which 31 came in the 2023 edition itself.
- Mohammed Shami's 7/57 against New Zealand in the semifinal is the joint-best show by any bowler in terms of wickets taken in an innings of a World Cup match. It was also the best performance for any bowler in this World Cup.
- Pakistan recorded the highest successful chase (345) for any team in World Cup history, during their league stage contest against Sri Lanka in Hyderabad.
- The Netherlands' Bas de Leede gave away 2/115 against Australia in New Delhi in the league stage, which is the costliest spell for any bowler not just in World Cup but also ODI history.
- South Africa's Aiden Markram hit the fastest World Cup century in 49 balls against Sri Lanka in New Delhi, but his record was broken by Maxwell who struck a ton in only 40 balls against the Dutch at the same venue.