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Australian celebrates after beating New Zealand to win the Twenty20 World Cup final in Dubai, UAE. Image Credit: AP

Dubai: The unbridled joy of Australians was a sight to behold. The maiden T20 World Cup triumph was indeed a moment to savour, and the delight was writ large every Australian face at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday. More importantly, it was their first trophy in six years: a time when Australia’s cricketing fortunes were not at their best. And this could be the spur they needed ahead of the Ashes series in December.

From the moment skipper Aaron Finch won the toss, there was no doubt about who would win the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. The Australians hardly put a foot wrong, throttling New Zealand in the powerplay and till the 10th over.

Even after the Kiwi captain Kane Williamson lashed a 47-ball 85, Australia were very much in the game. Left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc bore the brunt of Williamson’s aggression, but the rest of the Australian bowlers never allowed the game to slip away.

Good batting track

A target of 173 was never a challenging one on a good batting track unless New Zealand grabbed a bunch of wickets early in the game. It never happened. The early loss of Finch was an aberration, an extension of the Australian captain’s poor form.

The authority in which David Warner and Mitchell Marsh batted left no doubt about the eventual winners. By the time Warner was dismissed, Australia had the game and the trophy in their bag. The rest was a formality.

An eight-wicket win in the final is a rout. With this win, Australia have continued their total domination of New Zealand in knockout games in ICC tournaments. The Trans-Tasman rivalry never rose to the level of a thrilling contest. That’s a pity.

If the last two decades have taught the cricket world anything, it’s never to write off an Australian side. Five World Cup (50 overs) wins are ample proof of their talent and fighting spirit.

Horrific tour

When an ill-prepared Australian side came out of a country hit by lockdowns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, there was reason to believe that Finch’s team was not at their best. A horrific tour of Bangladesh only served to confirm that belief.

Australia were not among the pre-tournament favourites, and the scratchy win over South Africa didn’t help. The Australians shored up their World Cup campaign after suffering a big loss to England. The thumping win over the West Indies reminded that this Aussie team could be genuine contenders. And when they took down an unbeaten Pakistan in the semifinal, the die was cast.

So the comprehensive win in the final wasn’t a surprise. Baggy Greens, that’s the name of fighters.