ICC World Cup 2023: A dream come true for men from Down Under; heartbreak for Men in Blue


Travis Head celebrates after scoring a century during in the World Cup 2023 final match against India in Ahmedabad on Sunday (ANI)

Australia opener Travis Head dominated the Indian bowlers on his way to a match-winning knock of 137 in 120 balls

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Following his side’s six-wicket win over India in the final of ICC Cricket World Cup final, Australian skipper Pat Cummins said that he fell in love with the one-day format all over again with this World Cup and described the win as a “pinnacle of international cricket”.

Another heartbreak was added to the list of Indian fans as Men in Blue succumbed to Australia, led by a masterclass from Travis Head, which helped the Aussies lift their sixth World Cup title.

In the post-match press conference, Cummins said, “That is huge (The World Cup win), I think that’s the pinnacle of international cricket, winning a one-day World Cup. Especially over here in India, in front of a crowd like this. Yeah, that is huge. Yeah, it has been a big year for everyone, but our cricket team has been here in India, the Ashes, World Test Championship and top it off with this is just huge and these are the moments that you will remember for the rest of your life.”

Cummins admitted that he was nervous in the morning and it was an unforgettable experience seeing over 1 lakh fans dressed in India’s blue jersey.

“Yeah, I mean I always like to say I am pretty relaxed but I was a little bit nervous this morning you know just pacing around waiting for it to get started just seeing the sea of blue in the hotel getting nearer the ground and seeing the sea of blue, walking, making its way to the ground, all the cars parked with their selfie cameras out, you kind of knew you were walking into something pretty special. And then to walk out for the toss and just see 130,000 blue Indian shirts, it is an experience you will never forget. Awesome day and the good thing was they were not too noisy for most of it,” said Cummins.

Cummins said that the pitch played well and it was quite slow with no bounce.

“The pitch played pretty well actually, it was quite slow and basically no bounce, but I do not think the bounce was anything different to anywhere else in the tournament. It probably did not spin as much as I thought it would. Yesterday it looked really dry, but it was quite firm today. Yeah, the wicket was fine really. And then the toss, we were kind of umming and ahhing right up until the toss really – but I thought you know half a chance of the wicket got better tonight and you know in a World Cup game you can make a mistake bowling and it does not really matter too much, but if you make a mistake batting and you are under pressure it can be fatal so I just felt like it was the right time to go out and have a bowl,” he added.

On Virat’s wicket that he took, Cummins said that it was satisfying to deny him an opportunity to score another hundred.

“Yeah, I think so, yeah. Yeah, we did take a second in the huddle just to acknowledge the silence that was going around the crowd. Yeah, it just felt like it was one of those days where it was all made for him to score another hundred like he normally does and yeah that was satisfying,” he said.

Cummins said that he could not be prouder of his team’s performance over the last two years, which has seen them win the T20 World Cup title and World Test Championship too.

“Yeah, I mean I do not know, it is probably for others to judge that but yeah, couldn’t be prouder of the team for the last few years. We have had some tough series but we’ve won some amazing series as well and everyone stood up and we feel like we’ve got a great red ball team and the white ball team has won two trophies in the last few years so it’s, yeah, things are looking pretty rosy,” he added.

“Never expected this, not in a million years”: Travis Head

After playing a match-winning knock of 137 runs, it was never in doubt that Australia opener Travis Head would be named Player of the Match after a standout display that earned Australia’s men their sixth Cricket World Cup title.

After taking Australia to its sixth World Cup title victory, centurion Head expressed his astonishment, stating that he “never expected this in a million years.”

Australia opener dominated the Indian bowlers on his way to a match-winning knock of 137 in 120 balls. And it wasn’t just with the bat that Head excelled, with his wonderful catch to remove Rohit Sharma turning the tide in the first innings.

The opener’s unexpected and outstanding display of ability and drive exemplified the unpredictable and thrilling character of cricket, leaving both fans and players in awe of the moments that unfolded in the high-stakes World Cup final. The pressure was on Head when Australia slipped to 47/3 in search of a target of 241 to beat India at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. But Head produced one of the best knocks of his career, scoring 137 from 120 balls to guide his team to the brink of victory.

“Never expected this, not in a million years, truly an exceptional day. Lot better than sitting on the couch at home. Really glad to contribute, the first twenty balls I played gave me a lot of confidence and yea I was able to carry through. The way Mitch Marsh came out and took the game on, he set the tone. That was the energy we wanted and we knew the wicket may get tough. It was a great decision to bowl first after winning the toss. I felt the wicket got better as the day went on. It took a little bit of spin, it paid dividends. Nice to be a part of it, nice to play a role in all of that,” Head said during the pre-match presentation.

Head described India captain Rohit Sharma, who led his team from front throughout the 2023 WC tournament with some brilliant cricket, as “probably the most-unlucky man in the world.”

“He’s (Rohit Sharma) probably the unluckiest man in the world. Again, it’s (fielding) something that I worked hard on. I couldn’t imagine getting a hundred, couldn’t probably imagine holding onto that one. Was great to hold on to that catch. Important to look after your teammates, to be able to do that on the big stage in front of a full house is a nice thing.”

Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma during a practice session ahead of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 final match against Australia on Saturday (ANI)

“Rohit has been an exceptional leader”: Dravid

Indian head coach Rahul Dravid lauded India skipper Rohit Sharma for displaying outstanding leadership abilities and demonstrating his dedication to leading by example throughout the ICC World Cup 2023 tournament. Despite being the marquee event favourites, India were thrashed by Australia, who won their record-extending sixth 50-overs World Cup with a six-wicket triumph.

Rohit was also praised from all corners for his aggressive batting approach, which helped India set the tone early in the game and throughout the tournament.

“Yeah, I think he’s been an exceptional leader. You know, Rohit’s really led this team fantastically well. I think he’s certainly got the dressing room. I just think he’s given so much of his time and energy in the dressing room to the boys. He’s always been available for any of our conversations, any of our meetings. Sometimes there’s been a lot of planning, a lot of strategy that goes in. He’s always committed to those things. He’s given a lot of his personal time, energy into this campaign. And his batting as well, I thought it was fantastic, the way he set the tone for us,” Dravid said in a post-match press conference.

“We knew that we wanted to play a certain way. We wanted to play a positive attacking brand of cricket. And he was very committed to doing that. And he wanted to lead by example. And I thought right through the tournament, he was quite superb in doing that. And yeah, I just can’t speak more highly of him as a person and as a leader,” he added.

Dravid also expressed sympathy for the players and emphasised the sacrifices and efforts they made to reach the World Cup final.

“The boys are disappointed. It wasn’t, yeah, there was a lot of emotions in that dressing room. It was tough to see as a coach, because I know how hard these guys have worked, what they’ve put in, the sacrifices they’ve made. So, it’s tough. I mean, it’s tough to see that as a coach, because you get to know these boys personally. You get to see the effort they put in, the hard work that we’ve put in over the last month, the kind of cricket we’ve played. But yeah, but that’s sport,” Dravid added.

“That happens. It can happen. And the better team won on the day. And I’m sure that the sun will come up tomorrow morning. We’ll learn from it. We’ll reflect. And we’ll move on, as will everyone else. I mean, that’s what you do as sportsman. You have some great highs in sport, and you have some lows in sport. And you keep moving on. You don’t stop. Because if you don’t put yourself on the line, you don’t put yourself in games like these, you don’t experience the great highs. And neither do you experience the great lows. And if you don’t do that, you don’t learn,” India coach said.

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