Five-time champions Australia 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 begins at 2:00 PM IST. Australia will seek to claim a record sixth World Cup crown on Sunday. The final is a rematch of the 2003 title clash which the Aussies won in South Africa. The team, captained by Pat Cummins, enters the final following a thrilling victory over the Proteas. The Australian batting lineup has found form at a crucial juncture, 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 victory in the semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. Chasing a modest score of 212, Australia navigated a challenging, slow-turning track to secure the win. The resilience of the Aussie batting line-up was tested by the spin duo of Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi from South Africa. However, the Aussies conjured their renowned fighting spirit to triumph in the last-four clash.
Tail-enders Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins exhibited commendable grit and determination to guide Australia across the finish line. This was particularly evident in their semi-final against South Africa as well as in a previous match against Afghanistan, where Australia found themselves reeling at 91/7 before Glenn Maxwell and Cummins joined forces 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 against New Zealand, the lower-order’s ability to handle pressure remains untested. Should India’s top-order encounter difficulties against Australia while chasing, it will be intriguing to see how the lower-order responds in the crucial match on Sunday.
2. Adam Zampa factor
Australian spinner Adam Zampa has proven to be a standout performer in the ongoing tournament, securing 22 wickets in 10 matches. The leg-spinner has capitalised on the slow-turning tracks in India, spinning a web around the opposition batters. In the final against the hosts, Zampa will be Australia’s main weapon.
India has an all-right-handed batting line-up in the top six, making Zampa’s leg-spin a significant factor against their in-form batters. Zampa has previously troubled Virat Kohli in Test matches, setting the stage for a compelling battle between the two that could influence the tone of the upcoming match.
3. Handling pressure
Australia began their tournament with two back-to-back losses and from there on, they faced the pressure of making it to the top four. Their resilience was put to the test against Afghanistan, finding themselves in a precarious position at 91/7. Yet, they exhibited remarkable fortitude, staging a comeback to secure a crucial win and qualify for the semi-finals. Australia has consistently demonstrated composure in high-pressure situations, overcoming challenges with resilience.
In contrast, India effortlessly navigated through the tournament, winning all their matches and comfortably securing a spot in the semi-finals. The team has experienced minimal pressure, except in the semi-final against New Zealand, where they appeared to falter. Instances of conceding runs through overthrows and misfields indicated a vulnerability to pressure. As the final approaches, it remains to be seen how the Indian players handle the heightened pressure in this critical encounter.
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