Five-time champions Australia will face hosts India in the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday, November 19. The match starts at 14:00 IST. Australia will be seeking a record sixth World Cup crown on Sunday. The final is a rematch of the 2003 title won by the Aussies in South Africa. The team, led by Pat Cummins, enters the final after a thrilling win over the Proteas. The Australian batting line-up has found form at a crucial time, while the bowling attack has demonstrated its prowess in the latter stages of the tournament. Ahead of the final, we take a look at the factors that put Australia in an advantageous position against India.
1. Battle-hardened batting line-up
Australia were given a run for their money by South Africa during the former’s three-wicket win in the semi-finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. Chasing a modest score of 212, Australia navigated a challenging, slow-spinning track to secure the win. The Australian batting line-up’s resilience was tested by the spin duo of Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi from South Africa. However, the Aussies conjured their famous fighting spirit to triumph in the last four encounters.
Half-backs Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins displayed commendable grit and determination to guide Australia over the finish line. This was particularly evident in their semi-final against South Africa, as well as in an earlier game against Afghanistan, where Australia found themselves at 91/7 before Glenn Maxwell and Cummins combined to secure victory.
In contrast, India’s lower order has seen limited action throughout the tournament. Despite losing a maximum of six wickets while chasing New Zealand, the lower order’s ability to handle the pressure remains untested. Should India’s top order encounter difficulties against Australia as they chase, it will be interesting to see how the lower order reacts in the crucial match on Sunday.
2. Adam Zampa factor
Australian spinner Adam Zampa has proved to be an outstanding performer in the ongoing tournament, securing 22 wickets in 10 matches. The leg-spinner has taken advantage of the slow-swinging pitches in India and spun a web around the opposition batsmen. In the final against the hosts, Zampa will be Australia’s main weapon.
India have an all-right-handed batting line-up in the top six, making Zampa’s leg-spin a major factor against their in-form batsmen. Zampa has troubled Virat Kohli in Test matches in the past, setting the stage for a compelling battle between the two that could set the tone for the upcoming match.
3. Handling pressure
Australia began their tournament with two back-to-back losses and from there they faced the pressure to make the top four. Their resilience was tested against Afghanistan as they found themselves in a precarious position at 91/7. Still, they showed remarkable fortitude, staging a comeback to secure a decisive victory and qualify for the semi-finals. Australia has consistently shown composure in high-pressure situations and overcome challenges with resilience.
In contrast, India navigated effortlessly through the tournament, winning all their matches and comfortably securing a place in the semi-finals. The team has seen minimal pressure, apart from in the semi-final against New Zealand, where they seemed to falter. Instances of conceding runs through turnovers and foul fields indicated a vulnerability to pressure. As the final approaches, it remains to be seen how the Indian players handle the increased pressure in this critical encounter.
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