AUSTRALIA BREAK A BILLION HEARTS
Travis Head put home advantage to bed as Australia absorbed the pressure to secure their sixth ICC Cricket World Cup crown in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
In front of over 100,000 Indian fans, in a country of over a billion people, Pat Cummins’ men continued their tournament recovery to steal success in the most stunning manner.
The toss was irrelevant as Rohit Sharma said he would have batted anyway after Cummins opted to bowl first. The consequences were severe, though.
The skipper set the tone at the top of the order, but once again failed to convert a good 47 into a milestone innings.
Virat Kohli got going after him, but he too would depart for 54 after an inside edge onto his stumps off the bowling of Cummins.
The visiting captain took 2/34 while his strike partner Mitchell Starc took 3/55, including the important wicket of KL Rahul.
The Indian keeper top scored with a resilient 66 off 107 on a difficult deck, and the surface would be made to look so much easier once Australia came out to chase 241.
Jasprit Bumrah took two with the ball while Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami took a wicket each as well. But Australia were just too good.
Head will steal the headlines, as his remarkable innings followed his top-tier catch in the field to dismiss Sharma.
The opener batted from start to almost-finish, hitting 137 off just 120 balls. Marnus Labuschagne held up the other end with a vital 58 not out to get the Aussies over the line with seven overs to spare.
To win their record-extending sixth title was one thing, but to do it after getting thrashed to the same side in the league stage, on their own turf, was something Cummins and company can be incredibly proud of.
India were invincible from game one until semi-final one; and while one game does not define a nation, the spirits of the host country will surely be dampened by that defeat.
Australia will remain on the subcontinent for two more weeks as the finalists collide again for a five-match T20 series beginning on Thursday.
Pictured above: Australia
Image source: @cricketworldcup