India's World Cup Dream Ends in Tears as Australia Claims Sixth Title
21:22 19.11.2023 (Updated: 21:35 19.11.2023)
India's long wait for the ICC World Cup title ended in ignominy as the Australian cricket team shattered their dream in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
The Indian team's Cricket World Cup drought extended to another four years as Pat Cummins-led Australia beat Rohit Sharma and his boys by six wickets in the final of the 2023 edition of the competition at the Narendra Modi Stadium during the weekend.
Chasing a below-par 240 in Ahmedabad, the Kangaroos had their backs to the wall at 47/3, including the wicket of their premier batter Steve Smith. Smith failed to read a near-perfect slower ball from Jasprit Bumrah, and Australia looked in deep trouble at that stage.
But a match-defining partnership of 192 runs between Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne took Australia to victory as the Indian bowlers didn't pose enough problems to get them out
Head, in particular, was phenomenal as he joined legendary Australian cricketers Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist to score a hundred in the World Cup final.
Eventually, Head got out for 137 off 120 balls, just minutes before Glenn Maxwell hit the winning runs to secure Australia's sixth title in World Cup history.
Earlier, Team India, the most consistent team in the 2023 Cricket World Cup, was fully tested by Narendra Modi Stadium's dry pitch and the Australian bowlers during their batting essay after Pat Cummins won the toss and chose to field first.
Indians got off to a flying start, thanks to skipper Rohit Sharma, who fired on all cylinders at the start of their innings, smashing sixes and boundaries at will.
Rohit even took the likes of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood to the cleaners as he raced through to 47 off 30 balls, including three huge sixes.
Then came the turning point of the Indian innings as the Indian captain
danced down the track to hit Glenn Maxwell over the boundary ropes.
However, the ball took only the outside edge of Rohit's bat and flew in the air before Australia's Travis Head took a sensational catch to send the Nagpur-born cricketer back to the pavilion.
Rohit's dismissal gave Australia an opening. Subsequently, Shreyas Iyer, who arrived at the crease after the fall of Rohit's wicket, perished for four after getting out off the bowling of Pat Cummins.
Iyer's wicket brought Virat Kohli
and KL Rahul together, who weathered the storm and stitched a crucial 67-run stand to steady the ship for India.
When the Indians looked in control, Kohli chopped onto his stumps to send 130,000 people in the stadium into stunned silence.
The Men in Blue never actually recovered from the loss of Kohli's wicket and only succeeded in putting 240 runs on the board as the famed Indian batting line-up failed to deliver the goods on a difficult pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
As the Australian cricket team
choked the runs, no Indian batter except Kohli got going on a surface that assisted both spinners and pacers.
Though Rahul contributed 66 to the Indian total, he was scratchy throughout his knock, taking 107 deliveries to get to that score.
Among the other culprits for India was the middle-order batter Suryakumar Yadav, who showed no intent in between overs number 40 and 50 despite wickets falling all around him.
Eventually, Suryakumar became Hazlewood's scalp for 18, and the Indian innings ended minutes later with Kuldeep Yadav getting run out on the final ball of their allocated 50 overs.