Despite India’s promising start and the overwhelming crowd at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Australia remained composed and focused, leading to their triumph in the World Cup.
Pat Cummins’ Tactical Brilliance
Pat Cummins showcased his strategic brilliance by effectively controlling the game with his bowling changes and his own performance of 2/34. His decision to bring Glenn Maxwell early into Australia’s bowling innings proved to be a game-changer. This move was supported by Travis Head, who had an exceptional day on the field.
Travis Head’s Career Day
Head’s superb catch to dismiss Rohit Sharma (47 from 31 balls) shifted the momentum in Australia’s favor. As the opening batsman, Head weathered an intense early period against a formidable fast bowling attack to score 137 (120), taking Australia from 47/3 to 239/4 with Marnus Labuschagne (58*) in less than 43 overs. This performance virtually guaranteed Australia’s victory.
Head was named Player of the Match for his outstanding performance, which included watching Maxwell hit the winning runs.
Watson’s Praise for Head
On the latest episode of The ICC Review podcast, Shane Watson praised Head’s aggressive batting style. Watson noted that Head’s high-risk, high-reward approach to the game becomes unstoppable once he finds his rhythm.
Head’s Impact on Australia’s Performance
Australia’s initial struggles in the tournament coincided with Head’s absence due to a fracture in his left hand. However, upon his return, Head quickly regained his form, scoring a century against New Zealand during the group stage. His performances in the semi-final against South Africa and in the final match earned him the Player of the Month title.
Watson acknowledged the significance of Head’s immediate impact on the team’s performance, praising his fearless playing style and his ability to adapt to different conditions.
Watson’s Reflection on Australia’s Victory
Watson, who was part of Australia’s victorious 2007 and 2015 campaigns, admitted that he had never seen an Australian team win like the one on Sunday. He praised Australia’s ability to triumph in India, despite the challenging conditions and the strong support for the home team.
Cummins’ leadership was questioned after Australia’s early defeats in the tournament. However, Watson, who served as Australia’s interim captain during his career, commended Cummins’ calm demeanor and tactical decisions. He noted that Cummins’ ability to rally his team and turn things around after the second game was remarkable.
Australia’s World Cup Triumph
Australia’s victory in the 2023 World Cup marks their sixth title, adding to their wins in 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2015.