The grandest stage of cricket is set for a thrilling showdown between two of the tournament’s best teams. Let’s delve into five potential player confrontations that could be pivotal in the World Cup final in Ahmedabad this Sunday.
Josh Hazlewood’s Challenge Against Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli, who recently scored his 50th One Day International century, faces a significant challenge in the World Cup final against Josh Hazlewood. In their previous encounters in ODIs, Hazlewood has dismissed Kohli five times. The Australian bowler’s ability to disrupt Kohli’s rhythm could be crucial for Australia, especially considering Kohli’s current form, with eight scores above fifty in his last ten innings.
The Powerplay Battle: Rohit Sharma vs Mitchell Starc
Rohit Sharma’s vulnerability to left-arm pace, particularly in the first 10 overs, is well-known. Mitchell Starc and his Australian teammates are aware of the threat Sharma poses during the Powerplay. Despite Starc’s recent return to form, the conditions in Ahmedabad may not offer the same assistance as in Kolkata. This confrontation could be a game-changer, depending on who gains the upper hand.
Glenn Maxwell’s Duel with Kuldeep Yadav
Glenn Maxwell’s aggressive approach against spinners could be tested against Kuldeep Yadav, especially if the pitch in Ahmedabad offers turn. Maxwell has been dismissed by Yadav three times, but he also boasts a scoring rate of 143.5 against the Indian spinner in ODIs. This match-up could be a fascinating contest of aggression versus guile.
Steve Smith’s Encounter with Ravindra Jadeja
The duel between Steve Smith and Ravindra Jadeja has been a highlight of recent cricketing encounters. Jadeja has dismissed Smith five times across formats in 2023 alone. Despite Smith’s impressive ODI record against Jadeja, the conditions in Ahmedabad could tilt the balance in Jadeja’s favor.
Mohammed Shami’s Tussle with David Warner
Mohammed Shami’s exceptional performance in this World Cup, particularly against left-handers, could pose a significant challenge for David Warner. Shami has dismissed left-handers eight times in this tournament, averaging a wicket every seventh ball against them. Warner’s aggressive approach against right-arm pacers could make this a captivating contest.