The 2023 edition of ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup came to an end on Sunday (November 19), with Australia defeating India in the final by six wickets to lift the coveted trophy.
Opting to bowl first on a slow pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, Australia restricted the hosts to a below-par 240/10 in 50 overs. The pace trio of Mitchell Starc (3-55), Pat Cummins (2-34) and Josh Hazlewood (2-6) picked up seven wickets among them.
In reply, the Aussies were in a spot of bother at 47/3 but the duo of Travis Head (137 off 120) and Marnus Labuschagne (58* off 110) added 192 runs for the fourth wicket to seal the deal in 43 overs.
It was Australia’s record-extending sixth World Cup title and skipper Pat Cummins hailed the all-round effort from his side after the game.
"We saved our best for the last. I am chuffed with keeping them to 240 - anything under 300 really. I was one of those blokes with the hearts fluttering but Head took the game on," said Cummins during the post-match presentation.
The winning captain said it was a delight to see the big match players such as Head, Labuschagne and Starc rising to the occasion.
"A couple of big-match players stepped up and chuffed. It was a shift after two games. The openers were really aggressive and it was a total buy-in from everyone. We will remember this year (2023) for a long time. This pips it all," he added.
Cummins also explained his decision to chase the target, something teams usually refrain from doing in high-stakes matches.
"We thought it was a good night to chase. The pitch was slower than I thought and it didn't particularly spin and we bowled tight lines. On a slow wicket with variable bounce, we had a couple of catchers on the leg side," he said.
Cummins was effusive in his praise for Australia's fielding effort in the all-important final. "We have an ageing side but everyone threw themselves around,” he said.
Travis Head, who won the Player-of-the-Match award in the final, joined the squad late as he was recovering from a hand injury.
Cummins hailed the southpaw for his match-winning knock in the title clash. "The selectors backed him even when he had a broken hand. It's a big risk and it paid off."
Pat Cummins was happy to come out victorious in front of passionate spectators in India.
"It was awesome to play and the passion in India is unrivalled. You just got to go and win a World Cup (in India). You can't wait for it," he concluded.
(With PTI Inputs)