That’s it. I’m being perfectly honest, that piece. In years to come, when someone asks how Australia won the ODI World Cup in 2023, or the next World Cup, that is the answer. They won the World Cup because of Australia.
Of course, it feels like a cop-out. Maybe you need more than that. How? Why? You need a dissection. It is understandable that there are questions. We could talk about all this but, I’m warning you now, you’ve heard it all before. Not with the same characters, in slightly different scenarios and circumstances, but you know this story. The quickest, shortest and actually most convincing answer is: Australia.
They were complete underdogs, perhaps for the first time in a modern World Cup final, against a team that dominated a tournament the way Australia have dominated two World Cups this century. That team was playing at home, in front of more than 90,000 fans, almost all of them their own, in conditions where they commanded impenetrable skill. In the conditions – a slower pitch, with little bounce, taking turns – that could also be designed to reduce Australian strength.
At least not their fast bowling trio Pat Cummins, Josh Hazelwood And Mitchell Starc. Two things about this trio. One, they are forever boys. They had already won an ODI World Cup, a T20 World Cup, a World Test Championship and were the holders of the Ashes before they took the field.
Two, they are Australian fast bowlers and rarely do well as a species. If anyone was going to find a way to make this pitch work, there was a good chance they would. So they cut out the width. They are shorter in length. They speeded up as often as possible. They bowled cutters. They found the opposite. In short, they abandoned the conventional, more flashy approach and bowled a little ugly. It wasn’t always sensational – as is important – but they put together a batting order that hit 397, 410, 326 and 357 in their last four matches with a total of four boundaries after the first powerplay. four. It is so incredible that it bears repeating. Powerplay after four boundaries from Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja.
Naturally, skipper Cummins faced Kohli, the tournament’s highest run-scorer, the biggest star, on the biggest stage and took him out. Cummins, who, before the tournament began, had captained four ODIs and who has been low-voltage bowling in the World Cup so far.
How did they dismiss India’s most dominant batsman of the tournament, Rohit Sharma, and their tone-setting captain, in an absolute shambles of managing them in the powerplay? How do you calculate? That ball went up and Travis Head Sprinting off, you probably remember Mitchell Marsh dropping a catch off Kohli All those weeks ago. And as the ball came down in Ahmedabad, the head dived, you knew there was no way he was going to drop it like everyone else. Not in the final. Not Rohit. Not when it matters most.
They started this tournament Fielding as if they couldn’t catch a cold And capped it off with a catch of the tournament. They ended it as the fielding side – not the batting or bowling side – that won two Powerplays in a row, with David Warner in particular diving and hitting after the ball in these games like he was chasing a lost youth.
They then went into the powerplay against Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, taking 44 wickets between them in the tournament at an average of 14.32, at less than 4.5 runs per over. There was a swing. There was speed. There was adrenaline. It was under the lights. There was noise. And they go into them. Australia lost a wicket but reached the sixth of the target at the end of the fourth over. They came so hard that it started to look a little sloppy, but they rode their luck and were a quarter of the way to the goal at the end of the first powerplay.
Sometimes they have to laugh at themselves. England changed their entire cricket culture to bat like this. They told county cricket to bat like this. They put a name to it (at least in the test). India also changed their entire batting culture so that they can play like this and win this world title. You know who didn’t? Australia. Because this is how they are born to play. Head’s innings was no fluke. It was not a change from an old, tired method. Head batted, in broad outline, as you remember Ponting, Hayden and Gilchrist. Attack and keep attacking is literally one of the nucleotides in their DNA (no, I didn’t either).
Head was here in the first place because they took a pretty offensive punt on him, keeping him in the team despite a broken arm. Not a finger, Cummins would later point out, but a hand. What does this broken-hand Aussie do? He came and won three player-of-the-match awards, including the semi and final. It hasn’t happened before in this detail, but you’ve probably joked about a similar scenario about an Australian player before, it’s believable.
What makes Travis Head so good? Cummins explains
“Travis Head epitomizes what you need out of a cricket team,” Cummins said
Marnus Labuschagne The head company held almost all the way and was at the very end. He is Marnus Labuschagne, who was playing in the final two months ago and said he was unfit to play. Australia’s World Cup squad. One player was injured, then another concussed and he scored an unbeaten 80 to win a game; Then another player got injured and was dropped from the World Cup squad; Who has finished all of Australia’s games without ever proving his original assessment wrong. And yet, when he found himself in the final with perfect conditions for his batting, did he blink and screw it up? What the hell is he.
India fielded their greatest ever ODI team to Australia in Ahmedabad. Just as Pakistan bowled out their greatest ever ODI side to Australia at Lord’s in 1999. Just as Sri Lanka fielded their greatest ever ODI team against Australia at Bridgetown in 2007. Just as New Zealand fielded their greatest ever ODI team against Australia in 2015. What did we learn when you fielded your greatest ever team against Australia in the World Cup final? And is it ever close?
Before the finals, I was looking for the German word Which describes Australia’s repeated World Cup finals. Whatever the state of Australian cricket, whatever its style, whatever the quality of their players, whatever their form or the manner in which they reach the final, one thing remains true. With some help I found one that applied to Bayern Munich’s dominance in the German Bundesliga. Turns out it’s not too long and actually has a direct, one-word English translation. it is inevitable. It means inevitable.
Like Australia, the world champions, inevitably.