Australia has won the 2023 World Cup, making history by winning the title a record six times! The ten-year quest for an ICC trophy, or more specifically a 50-over World Cup trophy, was once again denied to the billions of Indian cricket fans after Sunday’s six-wicket defeat in the summit match at the Narendra Modi Stadium here. The outcome will take some time to set in for them.
But spend a minute for the eleven players on the field and the dozen more in the dugout who gave it their all, captivating a billion fans with ten straight victories after circling the nation and covering more than 9000 kilometers in 45 days before painfully falling short on D-day.
According to the ICC’s ‘It Takes One Day’ campaign for the 2023 World Cup, Glenn Maxwell’s winning runs broke India’s hopes of winning a global title that dated back to the 2013 Champions Trophy, and it truly only took a day to leave a stadium full of over 100,000 fans in eerie silence.
Many questions remained unanswered after the heartbreaking death. Why not?
When the Indian team management looks back and assesses its deficiencies, one question will undoubtedly surface: did India fail to have a backup plan when it counted most? The Statesman recognizes that the team had done all within their power to get to the championship game, but in retrospect, they realized they had overlooked a crucial play in the crucial match.
Well, neither captain had any control over it, but the choice did affect how things turned out in the end. By sending India to bat, which Rohit Sharma would have chosen in any case, Pat Cummins took a risk. But the hosts weren’t prepared for what happened following the first powerplay. Even though they were three down, they still had enough power and run rate to add on a sizable total that was over 300, but they were unable to carry out their strategy, particularly when Cummins used his part-time alternatives, Maxwell and Head, to cover for the fifth bowling option.
batting weakness in critical moments
India’s top order performed well across the last ten games, including the semifinal match against New Zealand, and adhered to the same model, with captain Rohit Sharma setting the example by obtaining quick starts so that players like Virat Kohli and the others could profit from the platform. After reaching 80 runs at the conclusion of the powerplay on Sunday, India was in the lead, but they could only muster 160 in the remaining 40 overs. The Indians faced a considerably more dangerous scenario in the first game in Chennai against the same opponents, down by three wickets with just two runs scored, but they shown the fortitude to rally, something that was regrettably lacking in the final.
boundary dry spell
After 15 overs without a boundary, a good start was followed by a slump that persisted even after KL Rahul, who for once found a way out in Glenn Maxwell. The run pace was severely hindered by the steep fall in boundary scoring; Rahul was removed even when he attempted to accelerate. Because of his powerful hitting, Suryakumar Yadav was picked for the team and was eventually dropped to No. 7. However, the Aussies did their research and, even though they were hitting hard, they could not give him enough speed to complete his strokes. Bravo to Pat Cummins and company!
fielding on the ground
At the age of 37, David Warner was an incredible player. Warner was the most feared fielder in the semifinal match at Eden Gardens against the South Africans, and he performed in the same way in the championship game. Rahul could have reached a boundary nine times out of ten with a brilliant cover drive, but Warner made sure he perfectly manned the barrier. The catch made by Travis Head to eliminate Rohit was just another example of Australia’s deft fielding. However, in the first over of the chase, David Warner was able to get through India’s slip cordon, which was manned by Virat Kohli and Shubman Gill. Later, Head exploited boundaries at will, surpassing India’s total boundary count of 16 (13 fours and 3 sixes) with his total of 19 (15 fours and 4 sixes).
An excessive reliance on spin twins
For Rohit throughout the middle overs, his go-to bowlers have been Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja. What if someone had a bad day, though? Although India opted to employ their part-time alternatives just against the Netherlands, Cummins boldly deployed his part-time bowlers in both knockout games (semifinal and final). Though he didn’t want to take unnecessary chances, Rohit Sharma had many possibilities to end the productive combination between Head and Marnus Labuschange when the frontline bowlers failed. As they say, fate favors the bold, and Cummins proved to be courageous when Maxwell successfully repelled Rohit, allowing him to weather the storm before it got too bad.
It was expected of this Indian squad to get beyond the mentality that almost led to a cowardly defeat in Johannesburg two decades ago. Though they had the support of almost 1,300,000 home fans and had defeated the Australians in their previous encounters, the Indian players were overwhelmed by the magnitude of the event on the big day at the Motera. Even though they were three down for 47, the Australians showed the will and the correct attitude to dominate the Indian bowling attack and win their sixth World Cup. They, however, refused to let the circumstances work against them.