India 240 all out against Australia in World Cup final

06:19 PM Nov 19, 2023 | PTI |

Ahmedabad: Australian bowlers saved their best for last while Indian batting faltered when it mattered the most, getting bowled out for a below-par 240 on a tricky pitch in the high-profile World Cup final here on Sunday.


Prior to the summit showdown, Australian skipper Pat Cummins (2/34 in 10 overs) had said that there is ”nothing more satisfying than hearing a big crowd go silent.” On the day, he kept his promise with one odd delivery that bounced a shade extra and Virat Kohli (54), trying to push it towards the empty cover area, was played on in the process.

There was a deafening silence at the packed 132,000 Narendra Modi Stadium and across every nook and corner of India, and ‘King Kohli’ found it hard to take the long walk back to the pavilion.

On a track where stroke-making became extremely difficult with each passing over, KL Rahul’s composed 66 off 107 is worth its weight in gold but he would have ideally liked to bat till the end having done the hard grind.

The degree of difficulty could be gauged by the fact that the Indians managed only 13 fours in the entire innings, apart from the three sixes hit by skipper Rohit Sharma.


The Indian team would hope that it won’t be any easier for batting when Australia begin their chase as dew could make life difficult for the home team bowlers.

Otherwise, on a track where the ball is gripping Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav could be very difficult to get away, after the three Australian spinners (Adam Zampa, Glenn Maxwell and Travis Head) collectively gave away only 83 runs in their 18 overs with two wickets.

Even though Shubman Gill’s poor execution of a short-arm pull brought his early downfall, Rohit showed little nerves as he played some expansive strokes on his way to a brisk 31-ball-47.

Rohit picked Josh Hazlewood’s (2/60 in 10 overs) length early for some special treatment and was also harsh on Mitchell Starc (3/55 in 10 overs) as he got three sixes and four boundaries in no time.

However, it was Travis Head’s turn to do a Kapil Dev as Maxwell’s (1/35 in 6 overs) delivery stopped with the Indian skipper dancing down the track in search of a maximum. The thick outside edge flew over cover and Head, running backwards, completed a stunner that broke India’s hearts and momentum.

The Australian fielding was exceptional as the field placement by Cummins was immaculate and the manner in which the fielders inside the ring cut the angles and outfielders saved boundaries was there to be seen.

Kohli started with three stunning boundaries — an on-drive, a slash behind point and a cover drive to set the pace followed by a punch off Maxwell through extra-cover.

With Cummins sending Shreyas Iyer back with a pitched-up delivery that straightened and the batter played inside the line, it was time for consolidation from the Kohli-Rahul duo, who added 67 in 18.1 overs.

It was a phase where Cummins’ cerebral captaincy helped the Aussies maintain a stranglehold on the duo. They couldn’t hit a boundary for nearly balls and the wagon wheel showed that most of Kohli’s 34 singles came in the arc between square leg and long-on. Rahul, at the other end, had one boundary only.

Cummins placed a fielder on the leg-side boundary and asked his spinners to bowl straight lines, allowing Kohli little room to manoeuvre on the off-side.

Then when he brought himself on, he opened the cover region and bowled a Test match length, packing the leg-side field and on a fairly benign track, it took one ball to bounce a tad extra and break a billion hearts.

Cummins didn’t do much through the entire tournament but did just enough when he needed to, just like captains do.

Brief Scores: India: 240 all out in 50 overs (KL Rahul 66, Virat Kohli 54; Mitchell Starc 3/55).


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