The world's largest cricket venue, the Narendra Modi Stadium, is set to host an iconic clash on Sunday, November 19. Two-time champions India will face five-time champions Australia in the 2023 ODI World Cup final. It will be reminiscent of the 2003 clash in Johannesburg, where the Men in Yellow emerged victorious by 125 runs. However, it won't be easy for Pat Cummins and Co. to upset their bitter rivals this time around.
India recorded their 10th consecutive win in the tournament with a thrilling victory over New Zealand in the semi-final. On the other hand, Australia suffered two defeats in their opening matches but will enter the grand finale on the back of 8 straight wins. As the two heavyweights clash at the mega venue, a dominant brand of cricket and a nail-biter is expected in Ahmedabad.
Apart from facing an in-form India, Australia's biggest challenge in the final will be tackling the massive crowd at the Narendra Modi Stadium. A fully packed stadium of over 1.3 lakh supporters is expected to cheer on Sunday. However, the Aussie skipper will aim to take satisfaction from silencing the crowd with a win against the home team.
During a press conference on Saturday, Cummins said: "The crowd's obviously going to be very one-sided but it's also in sport there's nothing more satisfying than hearing a big crowd go silent and that's the aim for us tomorrow. Yeah, you've just got to embrace every part of it, every part of a final even you know in the lead-up there's going to be noise and more people and interest and you just can't get overwhelmed. You got to be up for it, you got to love it and just know whatever happens it's fine but you just want to finish the day with no regrets," he added.
Cummins names India's biggest strength in the final
What made Team India an unbeaten team in the tournament was the fact that all of their 11 players were in top form. However, Cummins feels that Mohammed Shami is India's biggest strength and the pacer will pose a threat to the Australians. Despite not featuring in the first four matches, Shami is now leading the wicket-takers list.
The right-arm fast-bowler is now Team India's trump card and potential Player of the Tournament. With a staggering average of 9.31 from six matches, Shami has taken 23 wickets, including three fifers and one four-wicket haul. His best came during the semi-final against New Zealand, where he returned with the figures of 7/57.