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SportsCricketCan Australia halt India’s unbeaten run to WC glory?

Can Australia halt India’s unbeaten run to WC glory?

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and Australia have faced off in some of the most engaging contests in recent times and a new chapter to their rivalry will be added when they contest 50-over 's ultimate glory in Sunday's Cup final in Ahmedabad.

The familiar foes will conclude their campaign like they started it, against each other, and none of the 130,000-odd seats at the Narendra Modi Stadium will be empty.

Favourites India comprehensively beat number two-ranked Australia in their tournament opener and then strung together 10 wins in a row to storm into the final of their home World Cup with an unblemished record.

Australia, by contrast, began with two defeats before going on an eight-match winning streak.

“We want to take on the best. They've been the best in the tournament so far,” Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc said of India. “It's why we play the game.”

Captain Rohit Sharma and his team's semi-final victory against New Zealand, considered their bogey side, has answered questions about India's fragility in knockouts.

Rohit has led by example, with unbridled aggression at the top allowing others to play with more freedom.

Virat Kohli, the tournament's leading scorer, has been the trusted anchor, while others have batted around the senior duo in India's familiar template.

“The top-five-six batters, whenever they've gotten an opportunity, they've made it really count,” Rohit said after the semi-final. “All in all, the batting was superb, and that is the kind of template we want to bat with and move forward with.”

 

HOME ADVANTAGE

Their bowling, aided by the knowledge of home conditions, has been equally impressive.

Jasprit Bumrah has stifled batters both with the new ball and in the death overs while Mohammed Shami has emerged as the tournament's leading wicket-taker despite warming the bench in India's first four matches.

The left-arm duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja have shared the spin duties with considerable success on their quest for a third 50-overs World Cup trophy.

Expectation in the cricket-mad country is particularly high since the last three editions of the tournament have been won by the host nation.

Australia, however, are banking on their ability to lift themselves in big moments to gatecrash the Indian party and earn a sixth World Cup title.

Captain Pat Cummins and his men made heavy of a small target in Thursday's semi-final against South Africa, but India would underestimate Australia at their own peril.

In Adam Zampa they have a potent leg-spinner with 22 wickets in the tournament and a three-pronged pace attack finally firing on all cylinders after a stellar show against South Africa.

Glenn Maxwell can bat any team out of contention, as he did with his outrageous double century against Afghanistan and 40-ball 100 against the Netherlands.

India's coach Rahul Dravid was part of the squad that was blown away by Australia in the 2003 final.

Australia also beat India in the final of the World Test Championship final earlier this year and skipper Cummins cannot wait to try and lead them to a second global title despite little support from the stands.

“It's going to be packed, pretty one-sided I reckon, so you just have to embrace it,” Cummins said.

“It's going to be a special final.”

Following are facts and figures ahead of the World Cup final between hosts India and Australia on Sunday:

 

HEAD-TO-HEAD ODI RECORD

Matches: 150

India wins: 57

Australia wins: 83

Tied: 0

No result: 10

INDIA

World ranking: 1

Captain: Rohit Sharma

Coach: Rahul Dravid

Top-ranked batsman: Shubman Gill (1)

Top-ranked bowler: Mohammed Siraj (2)

Top scorer: Virat Kohli (711 runs, first)

Top wicket-taker: Mohammed Shami

(23 wickets, first)

Best result: Winners (1983, 2011)

2019 result: Lost to New Zealand in the sem

Squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Hardik Pandya (injured), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishan Kishan, Surya Kumar Yadav, Prasidh Krishna (replaced Pandya)

 

ROAD TO FINAL

v Australia: won by six wickets

v Afghanistan: won by eight wickets

v Pakistan: won by seven wickets

v Bangladesh: won by seven wickets

v New Zealand: won by four wickets

v England: won by 100 runs

v Sri Lanka: won by 302 runs

v South Africa: won by 243 runs

v Netherlands: won by 160 runs

Semi-final v New Zealand: won by 70 runs

 

AUSTRALIA

World ranking: 2

Captain: Pat Cummins

Coach: Andrew McDonald

Top-ranked batsman: David Warner (7)

Top-ranked bowler: Adam Zampa (3)

Top scorer: David Warner (528 runs, sixth)

Top wicket-taker: Adam Zampa

(22 wickets, second)

Best result: Champions (1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2015)

2019 result: Lost to England in the semi-finals

Squad: Pat Cummins (captain), Steve Smith, Alex Carey, Josh Inglis, Sean Abbott, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitch Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Starc

 

ROAD TO FINAL

v India: lost by six wickets

v South Africa: lost by 134 runs

v Sri Lanka: won by five wickets

v Pakistan: won by 62 runs

v Netherlands: won by 309 runs

 

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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