The 13th edition of cricket's biggest spectacle is drawing to a close with just one match left to decide the new world champion. Hosts India and Australia will clash on Sunday, November 19, for the 2023 ODI World Cup final at the world's largest cricket venue. The Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad will witness a reminiscent of the 2003 clash in Johannesburg, where the Men in Yellow emerged victorious by 125 runs.
However, Rohit Sharma and Co. are a formidable unit this time around and the five-time champions will not find it easy to repeat their heroics of 20 years ago. India are the only unbeaten team in the tournament, having won all 10 matches, including the semi-final win over New Zealand. On the other hand, Australia are on the back of 8 straight wins after suffering two losses in their opening matches.
Notably, when the two sides met in the league stage in Chennai on October 8, it was the Men in Blue who emerged victorious by 6 wickets. Both teams displayed some fighting cricket in the knockout stage, with India winning a high-scoring thriller and Australia winning a low-scoring nail-biter against South Africa.
What if the final ends in a draw?
If the final ends in a draw, a Super Over will be held to decide the winners. If that too ends in a tie, another Super Over will be played. This sequence continues until a decisive winner is found. This means that, unlike last time, there will not be a 'boundary count rule' to determine the champions.
What if rain hampers the summit clash?
Rain hasn't made much of a dent in the tournament so far. A crucial group-stage clash between New Zealand and Pakistan had to be abandoned and the outcome was decided by the DLS method. Thursday’s semi-final between Australia and South Africa at Eden Gardens was also interrupted by rain, but luckily the play resumed shortly after.
The weather forecast for Sunday's final in Ahmedabad looks favourable for a grand final, but with extra security in place, officials are not ready to take any chances. In case rain interrupts play on the scheduled day, the match will extend to a ‘Reserve Day’ on Monday. If the Reserve Day also gets washed out, the team with a superior group stage performance will be crowned champions.
If these rules come into effect, India will lift the coveted title as they finished the group stage on top with 18 points. It is noteworthy that, according to the Cricket Governing Body regulations, the decision to move the match to Reserve Day will be implemented only if the minimum required overs (20 overs) is not played.