It seems ages since that match in Chennai on October 8. The win from that day is the only memory now for the Indian fans, thanks to the team turning into a fast train that kept winning and now, after 10 straight wins, stands just one victory away from putting hands around the trophy.
Australia, known to peak when it matters, haven’t been far from being termed dominant since their two defeats in their first two matches of the tournament. They went on to win their next seven to book a place in the semi-finals, where they were tested by the South African spinners before winning by three wickets to fix a date with India in the title match.
So the Aussies are on an eight-match winning run, just two short of India’s. For those who like to crunch numbers, it’s almost even-stevens.
Considering Australia’s unmatched experience in handling the finals and their ability to come back from the dead, by all counts India have their toughest battle yet in the most important game of the tournament.
Talking about Australia’s ability to manage nerves in title games, the two teams have met in nine ODI tournament finals since 1985, and Australia won the silverware six times.
As the above stats reveal, the two teams haven’t met in an ODI tournament final since 2008, but if all ICC tournaments are taken into account, it was Australia who once again proved to be the better team by winning the World Test Championship final against India earlier this year.
The Aussies, however, will be aware that the current Indian squad is almost playing a different tournament compared to the other nine teams in the fray.
World Cup 2023: 5-time winner Australia arrives in Ahmedabad for title clash with India
There are 8 to 10 Indian players who are at the top of their game and are capable of winning a match on their own. The top five in the Indian batting line-up — Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul — have been the most consistent, boasting of seven centuries between them and the tournament’s top run-getter in Kohli (711 runs).
In total, the above five batters together have scored a mammoth 2523 runs for India in 10 matches. That’s more than 250 runs on average per match, which has powered India to totals in excess of 300.
The Indian bowling line-up, led by its pacers, has been the talk of the tournament and have bowled out oppositions for double-digits totals, ask Sri Lanka and South Africa.
Mohammed Shami, leading the tally of wicket-takers with 23 scaps in just six matches, has his tail up, so do his fellow pacers Jasprit Bumrah (18 wickets) and Mohammed Siraj (13), followed by the spin twins Ravindra Jadeja (16) and Kuldeep Yadav (15).
In total, Indian bowling unit has taken 85 of the 100 wickets on offer during their 10 matches so far. That’s 8.5 wickets per match.
Tourmanent’s second-highest total (410/4) is in India’s name. The tournament’s second-biggest margin of wins by runs (302) is credited to India.
But those numbers will just be cold print when they face the Aussies at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
Adam Zampa’s 22 wickets make him a force, so does the form of David Warner (528 runs), Mitchell Marsh (426) and Glenn Maxwell (398).
Not to forget the pace attack led by Mitchell Starc, which gave India a scare on October 8.
In short, October 19 promises to put up a spectacle.
Watch ICC World Cup: Australia beat South Africa by 3 wickets in second semifinal to set up title clash with India