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Final (D/N), Ahmedabad, November 19, 2023, ICC Cricket World Cup
(43/50 ov, T:241) 241/4

Australia won by 6 wickets (with 42 balls remaining)

Updated 19-Nov-2023 • Published 19-Nov-2023

As it happened - India vs Australia, World Cup 2023, final

By Alagappan Muthu and Ashish Pant


Australia were inside a wall of noise.
“WHOOOOOAA” they screamed as Bumrah ran in.
“OOOOOOOH” they gasped when it produced a false shot.
Those first 10 overs were as suffocating as cricket can get. But once that had been dealt with, the only noise that came from the biggest stadium in the world was the ball pinging off the Australian bats and heading to the boundary.
Their whole campaign has been about weathering storms. Andrew Fidel Fernando wrote it best. “Although you threw every atom of yourselves into the battle, although you crashed into us time and again in mighty, unrelenting waves, we know that eventually the storm breaks, the tide goes out, and the waters recede. What is left are the cliffs, which are tall, timeless, unyielding.”
Travis Head, all by himself, hits more boundaries than all of India did, and secures Australia’s sixth men’s ODI World Cup trophy. There have only been 13 of these tournaments in history. They’ve cornered this market. They were bottom of the table after their first two games. Now they’re champions. The resilience that Pat Cummins – whom Ricky Ponting says has come of age because of how he has held the team through these struggles - and his men have shown throughout this campaign has been spectacular.
Australia in 2023 have won a Test in India, they became World Test champions, then they retained the Ashes and now they've won the ODI World Cup.
Nagraj Gollapudi: Where did India lose the final? A plethora of analysis will follow, in India, until possibly the next World Cup. It would be interesting if anybody names Cummins as the chief reason. Australia’s captain came inside the first Powerplay and straightaway imposed himself and put the breaks on India’s run rate. Using cleverly the cutters banged hard into a slow pitch, Cummins also kept Kohli, Rahul and Yadav guessing with quicker deliveries. As a leader, one of Cummins’ key strengths has been not wearing his emotion on his sleeve. Possibly that has allowed him to stay in the moment and make clear decisions. With the Indian middle order reluctant to press the intent button, Cummins raced through his part-time bowlers quickly before bowling his strike bowlers and himself in mini spells to put the pressure on.
His calmness allowed him to cleverly activate the match-ups plan which worked to the T. Cummins will be a proud man to become the first specialist fast bowler to lift the World Cup. Cricket should celebrate Cummins.

India review

So the wait continues.
This Indian team is perhaps the very best that has been put on the park. They’re fitter. They’re better prepared. They have once in a generation bowler and an assembly line of highly skilled batters. They've gone 10-1 in this World Cup.
And people will only be talking about the one.
That’s championship cricket.
With more than 100,000 people in attendance, and millions more watching from home, this team that has set incredible standards will have to stomach coming in second best.
Mohammed Siraj has tears in his eyes. KL Rahul crumbles to the floor. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are expressionless. Jasprit Bumrah walks off the field tossing what looks like water bottles to the floor in disgust. There is so much hurt out there. They become the first home team to lose an ODI World Cup since 2007.
Hopefully that doesn’t overshadow the work Rohit Sharma has done to reform the way this team bats. Hopefully that doesn’t dampen the spirit his fast bowlers who have become the benchmark in the modern era.

Labuschange fifty

He has a bruise on his elbow. It's red. It's dried blood. It's there because he's been throwing himself around on the field since the semi-final.
Labuschagne wasn't anywhere near the ODI team even three months ago. He wasn't in the preliminary squad that they dropped for the World Cup. He came in as an injury replacement to a bowler.
Now look at him. He's been part of a 150-plus partnership against the best bowling attack in the tournament and he is soon to become a world champion.
Everybody is already down by the boundary. Pat Cummins has the biggest smile on his face. He said there's nothing better in sport than silencing a big crowd and boy has he ever.

Head hundred

What a tournament he's had.
Come in and scored a 59-ball century.
Took the Man of the Match in the semi-final.
He's likely to take the award tonight as well. It's only his fifth ODI hundred and he may never top it.
Celebrates it by making the keep talking sign with his hand.
Head has single-handedly scored more boundarys than India did in their entire innings today. He joins bonafide legands Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting, Viv Richards, Mahela Jayawardene and Clive Lloyd as the only six men to score a hundred in a World Cup final


Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head have put on a 100-run partnership. At a point they were fighting for the same spot in this team. Now together they are steering Australia towards the title.
And here is Bumrah in the 28th over. Aaaaand...
Australia's target has dipped well below hundred.

Balance shifting

41 dot balls for India in the first 10 overs. Australia survived that pressure and since then they've shifted it back. In the next 12 overs, there have only been 34 dot balls.
That's why Rohit calls Shami back into the attack in the 23rd over but Head nails him first ball. Four down the ground over the bowler's head. This could be over soon! Australia's chances of winning their sixth ODI World Cup final is 86%!

Head fifty

Travis Head, who was injured and in Australia when this World Cup began, is front and centre right now in the final. He was 10 off 21 weathering that burst from the quicks earlier. Now he's 50 off 58. He did India in the World Test Championship too. He did South Africa in the semi-final earlier this tournament.
Head faced the conditions when they were at their toughest. He weathered it. His technique doesn't seem air-tight. But you know what, he picks length so well and his hands are so good that so long as he's out there - using any means necessary - he's always going to be getting runs.
There was a late cut off Mohammed Shami that was just top draw. Just lovely balance. As soon as that went for four, he knew the next ball would be full and he nailed that down the ground. He's not going to joining the Fab Four anytime soon, but in terms of impact, in terms of being just so bloody irritating to bowl to, in terms of offering just zero margin for error, he really is something else. This is the guy you want next to you in a fight. And that's why all of Australia stands up to applaud as he raises his fifty.

Australia back on top

The pitch HAS got better for batting. Ricky Ponting on commentary picks it up immediately. Travis Head hits a four behind point against an on-pace ball from Mohammed Siraj and Punter says that's a sign that there might be dew out there because in the first half there weren't a lot of shots hit behind square and the ball racing away.
Batting has indeed become easier in this innings. It was just Bumrah and Shami who were making it hard. Now that they're off, Australia are tracking well. Very well.
They had 17 false shots in the first 10 overs when India's excellent new-ball pair were in operation. That count has come down to just 6 in the next 10.

Spin's in

Australia were on point with their planning and execution earlier.
India are following suit. As soon as the field can spread, they bring both their spinners in.
They want to take advantage of a dry and cracked pitch that is DEFINITELY offering turn before the dew comes in.
Ravindra Jadeja almost struck in his first over but his lbw shout against Travis Head is turned down because he is getting TOO much turn. And this is from bowling around the wicket, so for the ball to miss leg stump, when it is angled across the left-hander, that's tough tough tough.

Head goes big

Virat Kohli is goading the crowd. He doesn't want the noise to stop. He doesn't want Australia to feel safe.
In this cauldron, in this pressure, Travis Head plays the neatest little late cut ever.
Shami has been Friday the 13th to all left-handers in the World Cup. He is their living breathing nightmare.
But here is Head, waiting coolly for a good length ball outside off to come to him, and even more coolly dabbing it between slip and short third. The timing. The placement. The clarity. Chef's kiss cricket that.
And he goes up a notch as the over ends bashing Shami down the ground. This was a half-volley and he cashes in big time. Goes from 10 off 21 to 19 off 26. Australia 62 for 2 in 10 overs. Their chances of victory, according to ESPNcricinfo forecaster, is 48%

Bumrah KO's Smith

He is building one empire - India's - even as he is toppling another - Australia's
Steven Smith is gone.
And it's the offcutter again!
The funny thing is, just before the dismissal, Bumrah was biffed down the ground. That must have told him the movement he was getting had faded away. And immediately he shifted to plan B. The ball that followed the boundary was back of a length, potentially to force Smith to stick to his crease, to forget about his front foot. Because...
The next ball is the cutter. And Bumrah doesn't have a fast bowler's slower ball. He has a 120 kph offbreak. He's basically Murali. And when it hits the pitch - way outside off - and breaks into the right-hander Smith just has no good options.
Bumrah BELLOWS an lbw appeal. And when the on-field umpire cedes to it, he goes full Brett Lee chainsaw celebration. This is Bumrah unlike anybody has seen before. He is UNLEASHED.
PS - Had Smith chosen to review that, he would've been saved. The impact was outside off stump.

Bumrah strikes!

He doesn't always do that.
He bowls jaffas but he rarely gets carried away with them.
Even when he speaks to the press about his bowling, he takes pains to explain how he is focused on bowling well instead of bowling to take wickets; instead of bowling just magic balls.
The is essentially the reason why he is so chill.
But here, perhaps filled with the energy that the crowd is giving him, filled with purpose as India's spearhead, filled with the desperation to defend a below-par total, Bumrah removes Mitchell Marsh, then looks to the crowd, brings up both his guns and lets out a scream that is borderline primal.
This is the game he would have dreamed of when he was in rehab for a back injury. This is the sight that would have kept him going. He is here now. And he is fire.

Tensions rising

Bumrah and Shami are both getting the ball to deck around under lights.
Occasionally the movement is so strong, the ball just wanders away for wides.
These have become seriously difficult conditions to bat in.
And that's before considering the 100,000 people willing you to fail.
So what does Mitchell Marsh do? He plants that front foot down the pitch and launches a HUUUUGE six over mid-off
Until today, only three batters had hit him for sixes in this tournament. But the one who did it most successfully was Daryl Mitchell, with whom Marsh shares a lot of similarities. They're both monster hitters down the ground. They both have great reach.
Shiva Jayaraman, from our stats crew: Australia inflicted a dramatic slowdown in run-scoring for India after the first Powerplay at the end of which India were 80/2. India managed to scrape together just 160 runs in the remaining 40 overs of the innings. The percentage of runs (66.67) that India scored after the first-ten overs is the second lowest by any team that has played the full quota of 50 overs (over 2100 innings) since May 2001. Papua New Guinea got 206/9 against Oman after being 70/1 (66.01%) in an ODI in 2019, which is the lowest.

Warner falls!

9 wickets for Mohammed Shami against left-handers in this World Cup. He's given up just 38 runs to them in 54 balls
He didn't take the new ball for India in the other games, but as Sid Monga predicted in his tactics board, here he is because Australia had two left-hand openers. Several of these have actually come to pass, you know.
The crowd is right behind India.
They're screaming as Shami and Bumrah are charging in.
The two Aussie batters are inside a wall of sound.

India 240 all out

Australia need 241! That's the same total England and New Zealand made in the 2019 final.
The key to bowling on a slow pitch is to keep to your discipline and limit the damage. Australia chose to bowl knowing the margin of error was less than zero. They came face to face with that when Rohit Sharma was going bonkers at the start. And they survived it because their fielding has been unreal.
Travis Head pulled off a catch that may well rival the one Kapil Dev took in 1983.
India went 97 balls without a boundary; they managed just four since the end of the 10th over. They thought they were consolidating. But in came Pat Cummins, dismissing Virat Kohli. He is the first fast bowler to complete his full 10 overs in this World Cup and not concede a boundary. Later Mitchell Starc found reverse swing. In the knockouts he's taken six wickets at an average of 14.
Adam Zampa saw the pitch being slow and he too took pace off, going down to 84 kph once. He gave away just one four in his 10 overs. Australia sized up the conditions and responded to them perfectly.
Head and David Warner and Cummins and Zampa were saving boundaries all over the place. The field placements were excellent too. They had an offside sweeper out for Rohit because they guessed he would try to hit them off their lines and lengths by making room to the leg side. They had deep third man very fine to Suryakumar Yadav because his V is behind the wicket, not in front, and along with that gave him no pace to play his ramps and scoops.
This game, if they win it, and there's still a long way to go, especially if there's no dew, was made back in the drawing board.

Awesome Australia

They've planned this game out perfectly.
Suryakumar Yadav loves pace on the ball. So he's given nothing.
Even Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood keep going cutter after cutter.
SKY tried to ramp one of those, but they had cover for that too.
Mitchell Starc was placed really really fine at third man to stop the boundary.
When the pace was on, and Surya sliced a wide yorker behind point, the 37-year old David Warner was lightning across the outfield. He stopped a certain boundary and the very next ball came the wicket. Warner celebrated it as much as anyone.
Shiva Jayaraman, from our stats crew: In the three-match ODI series between these two teams before the World Cup, Australia pacers tested Suryakumar with short off-pace balls but weren’t very successful on relatively flat wickets.
SKY doesn’t do as well against slow balls bowled short or back-of-length as he does against on-pace deliveries. He needs pace on the ball to hit boundaries behind the wicket. Since 2021 in T20s and ODIs, Suryakumar has averaged 17.7 per dismissal against such balls with a dismissal coming about every 10.4 deliveries. Against on-pace short and back-of-length balls, he averages 66.0 and gets dismissed only once in 42.7 balls.
Three of the four balls bowled by Hazlewood to SKY today before dismissing him were short, off-pace balls. Australia had done their homework on India’s X-factor, and the pitch conditions made sure it paid off for them.

Zampa strikes

23 wickets for Adam Zampa, equal highest for a spinner in a single World Cup along with Muttiah Muralidaran in 2007
Adam Zampa's 10 overs have been very crucial. It's part of the reason why Australia kept playing him even though he was battling like four different niggles at the start of the tournament. Back, shoulder, glute, everything.
His greatest strength is how he never gives up the stumps. As a legspinner, his magic ball is the one skids through straight. That just won't happen here in Ahmedabad because the pitch is so slow. So he's also gone slow. By offering no pace and keeping it tight to the wickets, Zampa had gone seven overs without conceding a boundary. He bowled a wrong 'un at just 84 kph and almost had Ravindra Jadeja stumped. His economy rate is 4.4

Poll: Rate the pitch

Rate this pitch
33.1K votes
Below Average
Rohit scored at a strike rate of 151 here.
Kohli and Rahul scored fifties here.
Hazlewood and Starc have generated reverse swing here.
Zampa was getting it to rag here.
The pitch has offered a total spectacle.
And the chase is going to be tense.

Starc contrast

Mitchell Starc in
the round-robins: 8 matches, 10 wickets, 43.9 bowling average, 6.9 economy rate
the knockouts: 2 matches, 6 wickets, 14.83 average, 4.45 economy rate
He took the first wicket to fall today and he's also taken out India's top-scorer while generating reverse swing. And it's the coolest left-arm quick's wicket too. From around the stumps. Angling in. Squaring up the right-hander. Making him play. And then leaving him behind.
Dry pitch. Dry square. Scuffed up ball. Round arm action. Reverse swing.
India's tail is exposed with the best part of 10 overs to play.

State of play

Dew is the biggest thing here. If it shows up in the evening, it will get much easier to bat on. That's the gamble Australia took when they chose to chase. Even otherwise, in Ahemedabad, it's been better to bat in the evenings.
India's bowling attack is rich and varied and they're going to have a job to do later in the evening. If there's no dew, they'll back their spinners to get loads of turn. And KL Rahul is out there trying to help them out a bit, batting past fifty and hoping to stay there to capitalise on the death overs. India will hope for something around 260-270.
2 boundaries for India in the middle overs between 11 and 40, the joint-fewest boundaries in a men's ODI since 2014. South Africa also hit only two boundaries vs WI in 2016.

Jadeja falls

Proper reverse swing now.
Hazlewood from around the wicket sends one down with the seam canted 45 degrees, pointing at gully. That's what Waqar and Wasim used to do when they saw the old ball was tailing.
It pitches on a good length, Jadeja has to come forward, but its not right to drive. So all he can do is push. And when the reverse kicks in, helping the ball hold its line, the edge is taken.
Out walks Suryakumar Yadav. India 178 for 5 at the end of 36 overs. ESPNcricinfo says they'll get 255 from here

Australia on top

As Sid Monga points out, India are finally missing Hardik Pandya.
He'd be the one at No. 6. Instead its Ravindra Jadeja.
Jadeja is the allrounder. He's batting above a specialist in Suryakumar Yadav.
But this isn't an ideal time for Suryakumar Yadav to come in. So he's been pushed down.
Australia have made India deviate from their plans over and over and over again in this game.
A run-rate that was at 8 per over dips below five in the 34th.
And if you thought nothing more could go wrong, Mitchell Starc is getting reverse swing. Australia brought him back in the 33rd over looking for exactly this and they've found it. So good at the 1% this team.

Cummins <3 bowled

There have been many men who tried to get between Pat Cummins and a set of stumps.
Joe Root
Jos Buttler
Brendon McCullum
And now Virat Kohli
Nothing stops Cummins and his hunger for that timber.

Kohli gone!

Kohli just stood there while the Australians swarmed. They had built up the pressure. Their bowling didn't give up the stumps. Their fielding didn't give up, period. These are the kinds of things that a team must do on a slow pitch. They just have to hang in. They have to keep stringing the good ball over and over and over again without doing anything funky.
Cummins looked a reluctant captain when he accepted the responsibility in one-day cricket. Perhaps that's only because of how wholehearted he always is with just the ball in hand. How utterly tireless he is whether there is help in the pitch or not. His stock delivery is the one he bangs into the wicket, on a length, hunting the top of off. He already has an impeccable list of high-class batters that he's clean bowled and it keeps growing and growing
2.8 Cummins' economy rate at the end of six overs

Kohli fifty

A record-breaking 50th ODI hundred in the semi-final. Now just the 72nd fifty of his career. The 100,000-plus at the ground find their voice again and he acknowledges them with a nod and a wave of his bat

Quiet time

97 balls without a boundary (off the bat) for India since the end of the 10th over today. The second-longest such sequence in this World Cup. Netherlands went 128 balls without a boundary in their matche against Sri Lanka earlier
This is comfortably the longest India themselves have gone without hitting a boundary in this World Cup - the last instance was also against Australia, where they had to go 59 balls between big hits.
This caution is important actually. India lost two key batters in the first 10.2 overs. They only have five more to work with for the rest of the 39.4. Virat Kohli and KL Rahul are consolidating now in the hope that the may explode later. It's a throwback to how India used to play.
Pat Cummins saw that and snuck a few overs of his back-up bowlers through in this phase. Glenn Maxwell, Travis Head and Mitchell Marsh have all had roles to play with the field spreading out.
Still, at some point, India will have to go. KL Rahul has gone over 50 balls himself without hitting a boundary

The push and pull so far

Australia chose to bowl largely because they believe it will get easier to bat in the evening with dew coming in. The focus of all their bowlers is in damage limitation. That's why even their big three quicks were bowling cutters in the first powerplay. That's why all of their fielders are throwing themselves around with utter desperation. The upshot of that is 43 of the first 60 balls were either dots or singles.
India countered that pressure by hitting boundaries, by taking risks. They still got to 50 in 6.3 overs - the fastest in a men's ODI World Cup final. Rohit batted outside his crease. He also kept charging down the track. He knew India had to put up a dew-proof total. That's par plus 20 at least, which is why even Virat Kohli, when he was new at the crease, went 4, 4, 4.
The spell of play where both wickets fell is a perfect snapshot of what both team's have been trying to do. Australia: just hang in there and take their chances. India: keep attacking.
Pat Cummins came into this game hoping to silence the crowd. And right now, Ahmedabad is very very silent. Just 14 runs in four overs since the end of the powerplay

Rohit falls

Travis Head was injured when this World Cup began. When he got fit, he came in and scored a 59-ball century. Now he may have exceeded that contribution by dismissing Rohit Sharma.
India's captain had contributed 62% of their total. His opening partner's strike rate was 57. His was 151. The momentum was shifting.
With all of this inside of his head, Mr Head ran back 11 metres from point, tracking the ball over his shoulder, reaching out literally as far as he could with both hands, veering to his left right at the end because he has to. Every sinew is stretched. HIs focus is absolute. He dives. He takes it. He comes up with a huge smile. That's basically Kapil Dev in 1983.
Glenn Maxwell, who had been hit for a six and a four off the previous two balls, celebrates. And there's more joy on the way because in the next over Pat Cummins takes out Shreyas Iyer.
Australia, just as they were falling behind, have pushed out in front.
Nagraj Gollapudi: Batters turn and win matches (Rohit. Kohhli, Maxwell). Bowlers win championships/bilateral series (Starc/Ashwin). What about fielding? Take that element out and there will barely any contest between bat and ball. Australia won the semifinal against South Africa by keeping nerves while batting no doubt, but it was their fielding, especially in the 30-yard circle, which made the impact, where 20-odd runs were saved in the early part and which played a winning hand.
My man Ponting always says you have to be aware of where the ball is going to come, you want the ball to come to you. David Warner, Adam Zampa, Pat Cummins and, of course, Head have already shown such an attitude which has already robbed India of easily some 20 runs and accounted for Rohit’s wicket.
So this final fielding has already played a big hand.

Rohit key

581 runs and counting for Rohit Sharma, the most by a captain in Men's ODI World Cups
Thirty-two of India's first 40 runs have come off Rohit's bat. India's run rate at the end of six overs is 6.6. Rohit's run rate is 9.14
And guess who just joined the party. Virat Kohli.
Nagraj Gollapudi: To counter Rohit charging out of the crease, Ricky Ponting, on air, has been stressing, nearly pleading, Australian fast men to spear in the yorker. Ponting’s idea is the ball could either pierce Rohit’s defence as he is in the attack mode or push him back. There is no sharper ticking brain in whiteball cricket than Ponting. But it a plan rarely being tried out. As per ESPNcricinfo’s ball-by-ball logs, Rohit has faced only three yorkers before the final.
Australia could listen to Ponting. While we were plotting plans, how about a knuckleball from Hazlewood especially to surprise Rohit? A slow pitch with a low bounce and the batter on the charge – a blend that could result in a mishit.

Gill falls

Australia's discipline is staggering. This pitch has nothing for them. It's slow. It's dry. It has no carry. But a mark of great bowlers is they somehow find a way.
Hazlewood and Starc have been at the stumps, or in the channel. When they've gone short, they've really tried to get it up to the shoulder. Australia have also done really well in the field, throwing themselves around. Also tactically, they had a sweeper on the off side boundary anticipating what Rohit might do to counter the dot-ball pressure - make room and target that square region. This nous saved some runs too.
It felt like the India captain had dispelled the pressure that was being built up with a couple of boundaries - a front foot pull for six and a down the track swat for four past mid-on. But just when you start feeling comfortable against the Aussies is exactly when you need to be on your guard.
Starc gets Gill will a short ball that doesn't give him the room to pull. To be fair, he's really good at that shot. He's hit fours with that short-arm punch pull. And this India team always wants its players to back themselves when they're backed into a corner. Australia have backed them into a corner here. Rohit attacked his way out. Gill looked to do the same but it doesn't come off.
Even then, despite the loss of that wicket, Rohit ends the over with a six over long-off. This is a different level of cricket. Everyone is switched all the way on

Gill gets a life

"Come onnnn," screams Starc.
"Get uuuup," screams Maxwell.
Shubman Gill whips around to see where the ball has gone as he jogs through for a single.
Genuine edge to a ball at almost 140kph falls just short of Mitchell Marsh at first slip.
It shows that this is a slow and low pitch. That's why Maxwell asked the fielders to come up a yard so next time they're in business.

Rohit gets going

Imagine their heartbeats right now.
The noise around the ground is endless.
The bowler running in is peerless. Especially in first over.
Mitchell Starc whirls around to appeal for lbw first ball. It swung! But only one of the other five offered the same help.
Which is why Australia's fielding is so crucial and they are up for it again. Travis Head, Pat Cummins and Adam Zampa have already saved boundaries. And the game is only seven balls old.
The eighth ball - with pressure building - Rohit does his thing. The thing that he's been doing all tournament. Charge out. And go big. A ferocious cover drive for four in front of 130,000 people chanting his game.

Toss: Australia bowl

Who's gonna win?
39.5K votes
The crowd goes wild when they realise India will be batting right away. Pat Cummins cracks a smile and waits for them to quiet down (which isn't happening) and adds that they are backing themselves to chase, with dew expected later in the evening.
Rohit Sharma comes in and says he would've preferred setting a total. "Big game. Put runs on the board." He wasn't part of the squad in 2011. He's leading India now. "It's a dream come true."
India: 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Shreyas Iyer, 5 KL Rahul (wk), 6 Suryakumar Yadav, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Mohammed Shami, 9 Jasprit Bumrah, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Mohammed Siraj.
Australia: 1 David Warner, 2 Travis Head, 3 Mitchell Marsh, 4 Steven Smith, 5 Marnus Labuschagne, 6 Glenn Maxwell, 7 Josh Inglis (wk), 8 Mitchell Starc, 9 Pat Cummins (capt), 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood.
1 India are the first team to field the same XI in seven consecutive matches in a men's ODI World Cup. New Zealand fielded same XI in their first six matches of the 2019 edition. (From Sampath Bandarupalli)
Here's a look at the pitch
Who will be joining these guys later this night?
If you're in the USA, tune in to ESPN+ for the LIVE broadcast of the India vs Australia ODI World Cup final. Track our LIVE ball-by-ball commentary in Hindi as well as in Tamil

Hype x 1 billion


That champions feeling

Everyone chases it. Because there is almost nothing like it.
It's better than a good night's sleep
It's better than a kiss on the cheek.
It's history.
It's legacy.

Sport is weird

A billion thoughts will have entered the void by now.
I remember sending mine up in 2007. “Please let them win and I swear I’ll study harder. I also won’t talk back to mum. I’ll even be nicer to my lil brother.”
I was that kid who wouldn’t even bother to learn the names of my relatives but there I was making unholy promises for the success of a bunch of people I hadn’t even met.
Sport is weird. It makes people weird.
This is the pinnacle of our sport. And this Indian team seems like the pinnacle of all the other Indian teams of the past. There has been extensive investment into building bench strength, to the point that they have been capable of sending two completely different squads to two completely different corners of the world. There has been upskilling in all departments and that isn’t just batting, bowling and fielding. There’s been an acknowledgment of mental health, of data analytics, of pitch-reading and other pre- and also post-match structures. They’re also just having like a bunch of fun. Rohit Sharma mimicking Shreyas Iyer’s century celebration. Virat Kohli dangling off the dressing room balcony because Anushka was sitting just above and he wanted to see her. Everybody demanding that fielding medal that has turned into the greatest thing on social media.
Watching all of this quietly are Australia. The most dominant empire in one-day cricket history. As Andrew Fidel Fernando noted in this excellent piece, “this is the big stage. We are its most common occupants, and you are only visitors. We don't so much have Big Match Energy as a Big Match State of General Existence.” This is their eighth final. If they win, it’ll be their sixth trophy.
“We’re hurting,” Pat Cummins said when they began this campaign with two heavy losses. Everybody could see that this side wasn’t like the others of the past. It didn’t have that you can try as hard as you like but you’ll never be as good as us aura. These men were just that. Men. Resilient men. With fight right down to the skin of their teeth. It didn’t matter that they didn’t start well. It didn’t matter that their matches never went well. When it counted most – in the middle overs after Sri Lanka were 120 for 0, in last over against New Zealand when they looked like they’d chase 389, in the chase against Afghanistan when they were 91 for 7, in the semi-final against South Africa when they were 137 for 5 – they just refused to go down.
So what's better? Being the team that's undefeated or the one that never knows when to quit. My name is Alagappan Muthu. And we're about to find out.

All eyes on the pitch...

The 2023 ODI World Cup final between India and Australia will be played on pitch No. 5 at the Narendra Modi Stadium, the surface that was used for the India-Pakistan fixture on October 14. Since then no game has been played on this pitch.
India won that game in 73 overs, but it was played on October 14, when the weather was hot and dry. A little over a month later, there's an early winter nip in the air in Ahmedabad, the evenings are cooler, and there's a lot more dew. Pitch no. 5 has been watered, rolled, and watered. The curator believes it will retain a little more moisture now.
Sanjay Manjrekar, at the ground, says the pitch has black soil which should retain moisture and could give an advantage to teams bowling first. One thing is certain - it will be a trial by spin for Australia.
Pat Cummins says that pitch advantage is not much of a factor.

Have your say...

Which of these explosive openers will have a bigger impact today?
35.0K votes
Rohit Sharma
Travis Head
It's the big India vs Australia ODI World Cup final. Track our LIVE ball-by-ball commentary in English as well as in Hindi and in Tamil

Australia do Australia things...

Without the scowl or the snarl, writes Osman Samiuddin. It has been a very Australian campaign not in the way of the best-remembered Australian surges. Sure, they have won eight on the trot, but it's not been with the aura of their dominant, flawless campaigns of 2003 or 2007. But, they've fought hard and have found a way to win - which is as Australian as it can get.
They stand now on the cusp of something monumental. Defeat India in Ahmedabad on Sunday and it will mean that a chunk of this group will have won two World Cups, a T20 World Cup only two years ago, the World Test Championship, and retained an Ashes series this year. WOW!

Battle-hardened Australia vs India's invincibles

Over the last few weeks, this World Cup had become a furious whirl of irresistible narratives. There was Virat Kohli's tenacious run to 50 ODI hundreds, Glenn Maxwell's fastest World Cup hundred, then that manic 201* against Afghanistan, a timed-out dismissal sparking major controversy, New Zealand pushing the big teams close but not quite making it, Pakistan's exit setting off major reshuffles at home, Sri Lanka nosediving into a deep administrative and cricketing ravine, Bangladesh engaging in some soul-searching of their own, and Afghanistan orchestrating the most captivating campaign of the tournament but disovering there is a ceiling for them still.
The final really does feel like the culmination of all the events since October 5. There can be no doubt these are the best teams of the competition. But even then, India have been like the sun, and Australia like Jupiter - the next-most massive body in the solar system, but dwarfed still by the greater celestial body.
Can Jupiter take down the Sun, in front of over 100,000 hyper-partisan fans in blue? All this and more in Andrew Fidel Fernando's quite stunning preview for the final.

What to expect?

For starters close to 130,000 people at the Motera in Ahmedabad, a sea of blue and the coveted World Cup Trophy in sight. If that isn't enough, the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi will also be in attendance along with the who's who of cricket including a number of former World Cup-winning captains. There's a pre-match air show lined up, a concert a light show and a lot of other things. So, it's not just the cricket that is in store in Ahmedabad today.

Inevitable but unpredictable...

India and Australia have been two trains on a collision course, writes ESPNcricinfo's editor-in-chief Sambit Bal.
Here's a sneak peek. Go ahead, and click on the entire thing. It's worth your time.
You might argue, with hindsight, that this World Cup final has bowed to the inevitable by bringing the two pre-tournament favourites together in the summit clash. In that, it is a departure from the norm. Starting from 1983, when India defied 66-1 odds to dethrone West Indies, World Cup finals have provided a joyous deviation from the script: Sri Lanka have made it to three finals and won once, New Zealand to two, and Australia and Pakistan were far from being the favourites when they won in 1987 and 1992. This year, apart from the truth that India and Australia were the soundest bets for the final when the tournament began, very little about their paths here has been predictable.

Australia's road to the final

It did not start smoothly, in fact, was quite bumpy at the top when they lost their first two matches to India and South Africa and were at one point bottom of the ten-team World Cup. But Australia have since picked up pace and how. There have been a few hiccups along the way like the game against Afghanistan and New Zealand, but Australia come into the final having won eight games on the bounce.
Can they once again go all the way?
Here's Australia's journey to the final of the 2023 ODI World Cup.
vs India - Australia lost by six wickets
vs South Africa - Australia lost by 134 runs
vs Sri Lanka - Australia won by five wickets
vs Pakistan - Australia won by 62 runs
vs Netherlands - Australia won by 309 runs
vs New Zealand - Australia won by five runs
vs England - Australia won by 33 runs
vs Afghanistan - Australia won by three wickets
vs Bangladesh - Australia won by eight wickets
2nd semi-final - Australia won by three wickets

India's road to the final

A flawless run by a formidable team. Shashank Kishore analyses how the pieces of the jigsaw fell in place for incredible India.
They started with a win against this very Australia side in Chennai and since then the team has gone from strength to strength. India head into the final having won each of their ten games and will be quite keen on making it 11 out of 11.
Let's see how the Indian side went about their matches at the World Cup:
vs Australia - India won by six wickets
vs Afghanistan - India won by eight wickets
vs Pakistan - India won by seven wickets
vs Bangladesh - India won by seven wickets
vs New Zealand - India won by four wickets
vs England - India won by 100 runs
vs Sri Lanka - India won by 302 runs
vs South Africa - India won by 243 runs
vs Netherlands - India won by 160 runs
1st semi-final - India won by 70 runs

The history...

How many times have India and Australia met in a World Cup knockout game? The answer is three times.
2003 final. When a Ricky Ponting special stunned India and dashed the hopes of a cricket-crazy country.
2011 quarter-final. When Yuvraj Singh played the knock of his life to send India to the semi-final and knocked Australia out.
2015 semi-final. When Steven Smith and Aaron Finch left India with no answers.
Australia lead the tally by a 2-1 margin. Chance for India to draw level?

Hey ho, let’s go!

After 45 league games and two high-octane semi-finals, we are down to this last one. The big final. India vs Australia – a rivalry that has gone on for decades and upped a notch in the last few years.
The team of the tournament vs the team that tends to win these tournaments!
It's been close to six weeks of enthralling cricket which culminates with Rohit Sharma-led India taking on Pat Cummins-led Australia. One team, which is chasing their third ODI World Cup home in front of a potential 130,000 people in attendance at the iconic stadium in Ahmedabad. The other, who has done it all, so many times. It's their eighth time in a World Cup final, and have already won the title five times!
Who will take the cup home today? The team that have proved to be flawless, or the one who just know how to win the big games. Buckle up, folks. It's going to be a fun ride.
Win Probability
AUS 100%
100%50%100%IND InningsAUS Innings

Over 43 • AUS 241/4

Travis Head c Shubman Gill b Mohammed Siraj 137 (120b 15x4 4x6 166m) SR: 114.16
Australia won by 6 wickets (with 42 balls remaining)
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