New Delhi: Since losing to India and South Africa at the start of the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup, Australia have been on an unbeaten streak to enter the knockouts and now find themselves in the title clash against India after edging the Proteas by three wickets with 16 balls remaining in a low-scoring and tense semi-final at Kolkata.
Australia, led by Pat Cummins, are now in their eighth Men’s ODI World Cup final and will be chasing an unprecedented sixth title at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
Here's a SWOT analysis of the Australian team ahead of the title clash:
Batting has been one of the major strengths for Australia to be back at their terrifying best in the tournament. Be it Travis Head (who missed the tournament initially due to a fractured hand), Mitchell Marsh (426 runs), David Warner (528 runs) or Glenn Maxwell (398 runs), Steve Smith or Marnus Labuschagne, everyone has contributed in the batting order for Australia.
With the ball, leg-spinner Adam Zampa has been in top form, taking 22 scalps, while being ably supported by the part time off-spin of Maxwell and Head. In what also brings more cheer to Australia, the performances of pacers Josh Hazelwood (2/12), Mitch Starc (3/34) and captain Pat Cummins (3/54) augur well for them ahead of the final.
Against India in Chennai, Australia were kept in check on a spin-friendly pitch as the spin trio of Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin picked up six wickets between themselves. With Kuldeep and Jadeja in top form, plus Australia’s batters being put in some trouble by Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj in the semi-final, batting against spin continues to be a point of weakness.
Australia are seeking their sixth Men’s ODI World Cup title after last winning it in 2015. They have a good knack of coming great in the knockouts and in big games like the finals, they are known to put their best foot forward. They won the 2003 World Cup against India and even defeated them in this year’s World Test Championship final. They will be aiming to make extensive use of what it takes to win World Cups.
India’s dominating run with bat and ball has been very hard to stop for teams in the competition. Everyone from one to eleven is in top form and have annihilated oppositions very well. Australia’s main challenge in the World Cup final will be to stop the unstoppable Indian juggernaut.