November 19, 2023

Cricket World Cup final LIVE updates: Australia take on India in decider

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Sharma thumps opening six; India on the march

Mitchell Starc had a vigorous lbw appeal against Rohit Sharma on the first ball of the final, but the delivery was clearly heading down leg side.

Not out: Mitchell Starc appeals unsuccessfully for the wicket of India’s captain Rohit Sharma on the opening ball of the match.Credit: AP

Sharma, as he has been all tournament, has taken on the bowling, and was fortunate to not be caught in the deep off a pull shot off Josh Hazlewood in the fourth over. However, the first six of the afternoon came three balls later when he crunched Hazlewood over deep square leg. Next ball, a four down the ground, the hosts storming to 0-30 after four overs.

Partner Shubman Gill, prepared to be Sharma’s foil, has not been troubled.


Sharma takes to Hazlewood – watch out

Mitchell Starc has completed the opening over (0/3), with Josh Hazlewood his fellow new-ball partner.

The hard-hitting Rohit Sharma – he has the highest strike rate (133.1) of any batsman in the opening power play through the tournament – is desperate to get his team off to a blistering start. His intentions are clear – he charges Hazlewood and spanks him through the covers to the boundary. Next ball, there is a wild cross-bat swipe, but a boundary through square leg.

Indian great Ravi Shastri had said this is the slowest deck the host nation has encountered through the tournament. In theory, this could blunt India’s robust top order, but Sharma has other ideas.

It’s 0-13 after two overs.


And we are underway

Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, the latter who had to retire hurt with cramps in the semi-final, have taken to the crease, before a crowd of more than 100,000.

Mitchell Starc has the new ball for Australia.

Game on!


Wu: For Australia, legacies on the line

There is a sense of irony that Pat Cummins’ team is all that stands in the way of a leviathan India emulating the World Cup feats of Australia’s golden era, writes Andrew Wu.

Only 12 months ago, Australia’s failure at a home Twenty20 World Cup reignited the feud between the current team and the greats from the 1990s and 2000s stemming from Justin Langer’s exit as coach. Now, the legacies of the two Australian sides, 20 years apart, go on the line against a superstar-studded India team that for all their talent and offfield might and power have not won an ICC trophy – in the men’s and women’s game – since 2011.

Legacies on the line: David Warner takes on South Africa in the World Cup semi-final.Credit: Getty

On the biggest stage possible, both literally and metaphorically, at the 132,000-capacity stadium named in honour of India’s Prime Minister in Ahmedabad, Rohit Sharma’s all-conquering men stand on the cusp of greatness – and failure. There is no in between.

Victory would see India become the first team since Ricky Ponting’s dominant sides of 2003 and 2007 to go through an entire World Cup campaign undefeated.

Read more: Legacies of two Australian sides on the line against superstar-studded India


Brettig: The plot to break a billion hearts

One of the beauties of a World Cup played in round-robin is the opportunity for a second chance against the same opponent in the finals.

Australia learnt much from their first encounter with South Africa and made the most of it in the semifinal, particularly in terms of how they made sure to grasp the early initiative with both bat and ball against a Proteas side that preferred the slow build.

The same will apply against India in the tournament decider in Ahmedabad.

It was a timid Australia who allowed their innings to be sapped of all momentum under the hot Chennai sun in their opening game over a month ago.

Timid is not going to get it done against India, and Australian captain Pat Cummins knows it.

″⁣Being really clear that if we’re going to fail, this is how we want to fail,″⁣ Cummins said of his philosophy earlier in the tournament. ″⁣If it’s being meek and being dictated to, that’s not acceptable.

″⁣But if we go out, take the game on, try to shift the pressure back on the opposition, and it doesn’t work, that’s OK. We can live with that. Just trying to keep getting that message across. We’re at our best when we are taking the game on. I think it brings the best out of our batters and our bowling group, when you’ve got that real focus on, ‘Let’s be aggressive and shift that pressure back onto the opposition’.″⁣

So how can Australia do it against an India side that seems unstoppable?

Read more: The plot to break a billion hearts: How Australia can beat India


Cummins wins toss and bowls; Australia name unchanged team

Australian captain Pat Cummins has won the toss and surprisingly opted to bowl first.

“It seems like this venue has got better and better to bat on, so, hopefully, it stays that way,” Cummins said.

Cummins added the night dew was a factor in his call.

Indian captain Rohit Sharma was more than happy with the call, for he said he would have batted first had the toss gone his way.

“It’s a dream come true to captain the side in the finals,” he said.

India have also named an unchanged line-up, from the side which humbled New Zealand in the semi-final.

Fox Cricket commentator Kerry O’Keeffe said recent history at the venue suggested chasing was a good way to go.

Australia have named an unchanged side. Batsman Marnus Labuschagne has been retained, with allrounder Marcus Stoinis overlooked for a recall.

Labuschagne has been an important player through the tournament, his retention an acknowledgement the Australians know they need middle-order depth against the host nation’s blue-chip spinners on what shapes as a tricky pitch.

Stoinis would have added greater pace-bowling depth and hard hitting lower in the order, but Labuschagne is typically strong against spinners.


Pierik: Who has the best line up

Pat Cummins knows what awaits when his Australian side faces the undefeated juggernaut that is India in a World Cup final before more than 120,000 supporters on Sunday, writes Jon Pierik.

“The stadium is going to be packed, pretty one-sided, but [we have] got to embrace it,” Cummins said. “The good thing is a few of us have been there for finals before. The 2015 World Cup was a career highlight, so to be out there in a final in India, can’t wait.”

And neither can the cricketing world, for this is a contest full of blue-chip talent in rich form.

Questions: Pat Cummins points out his concerns with the pitch at Narendra Modi Stadium on Saturday.Credit: Getty

According to the ICC one-day player rankings, India have five batsmen in the top 30 – Shubman Gill (1), Virat Kohli (4), Rohit Sharma (5), Shreyas Iyer (13) and KL Rahul (18) – while Australia have four – David Warner (7), Steve Smith (17), Glenn Maxwell (21) and Marnus Labuschagne (26). At last count, Travis Head was 43, but that will change.

In the bowling stocks, Mohammed Siraj (2), Jasprit Bumrah (4) and Kuldeep Yadav (5) have Adam Zampa (3) and Josh Hazlewood (6) for company. Mohammed Shami is at 12, while Mitchell Starc is at 20, and Pat Cummins at 34 – expect that to also change soon.

Much, of course, could depend on the condition of the pitch, and even the toss of the coin, as New Zealand discovered in their losing semi-final.

Here’s a head-to-head look at each player in the anticipated line-ups for Sunday’s match:

Read more: Our head-to-head look at each team.  


Conn: Spotlight on pitch for final

Australian captain Pat Cummins has raised concerns about the pitch for tonight’s World Cup final in Ahmedabad as his side prepares to chase a sixth title against overwhelming favourites India.

Inspecting the wicket yesterday, Cummins made his feelings clear to ground staff about both ends of the strip, where India’s world-class spinners will be operating. Curators began rolling the pitch following their conversation.

Cummins played a straight bat when later asked about the surface, saying it had been used for a previous match. He said Australia would wait to see how the wicket presented on game day before selecting the team.

″⁣I’m not a great pitch reader, but it looks pretty firm,″⁣ Cummins said. ″⁣It’s only just been watered, so we’ll give it 24 hours to have another look. But it looks like pretty good.″⁣

Australian great Mark Waugh said on Fox Cricket on Sunday evening the pitch “doesn’t look pristine” and “doesn’t look like a pure batting pitch”. This suggests India has high hopes for their spinners.

Read more: Fever pitch: Australia to wait on wicket before selecting Cup final team


A warm welcome from the Melbourne bureau

Evening Richie, evening all,

We’ve got a World Cup final for you all this evening, Australia and India from Narendra Modi Stadium, with two of cricket’s great modern sides battling for ODI cricket’s ultimate prize.

All is in order, with a top temperature of 33 degrees expected before a crowd of more than 100,000.

“For the first time, I could say I am a little bit nervous. For us, it’s about backing our skills,” Australian blaster David Warner told Fox Cricket an hour before play.

Malcolm Conn is our man on the ground. I’ll be with you from the Melbourne bureau, and we’ve got first ball at 7.30pm AEDT.

Chat soon.

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