Australia win the Cricket World Cup AGAIN!

Australia win the Cricket World Cup AGAIN! Travis Head hits incredible century to stun India and give Pat Cummins his greatest moment as captain

  • Australia are world champions again after winning the Cricket World Cup final
  • Travis Head scored an incredible century to lead his side to victory
  • Pat Cummins was vindicated for a bold call to bowl first on Sunday 

Australia are cricket’s one-day world champions for the sixth time after they out-thought and outplayed hosts and favourites India on a famous night at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

Their hero was opener Travis Head, whose supreme 137 off 120 balls steered a pursuit of 241 through the choppy waters of 47 for three with the help of the watchful Marnus Labuschagne.

To the disbelief of more than 92,000 fans, they added an increasingly straightforward 192 as victory came with seven overs to spare. It didn’t matter that Head fell aiming for the winning hit. Glenn Maxwell pulled the winning two next ball, and Australia’s players sprinted in jubilation on to the field.Only Damien Martyn and Ricky Ponting, who put on an unbroken 234 for Australia against India at Johannesburg in 2003, have shared a bigger stand in a World Cup final.

Above all, this was a triumph for captain Pat Cummins, who bravely chose to bowl in the afternoon heat, took the key wicket of Virat Kohli, and rotated his bowlers as India became hopelessly stuck in the middle overs.

Cummins is not always renowned for his tactical acumen, but he played a blinder here, and he can now add the one-day World Cup to the World Test Championship Australia won at The Oval in June, when India were again the victims.

Australia are world champions yet again after winning the Cricket World Cup final in India on Sunday

Marnus Labuschagne (left) and Glenn Maxwell (right) were in the middle to hit the winning runs

Pat Cummins’s side celebrate in the middle of the Ahmedabad pitch after silencing the vociferous home crowd

Travis Head hit a sumptuous century to guide his side to a memorable victory in front of 130,000 rival fans in Ahmedabad

Marnus Labuschagne helped steady the ship with a confident half century after a slow start to the chase

Throw in the retention of the Ashes – Manchester rain or otherwise – and he has a built up quite a CV to wave at those who believe he should be replaced by Steve Smith.

But this was India’s despair as much as it was Australia’s delight, and they become the first home team not to win the World Cup since West Indies in 2007.

They had the tournament’s best batsman in Kohli, and its best bowler in Mohammed Shami. They even had the BCCI pulling the strings behind the scenes to ensure the most agreeable surfaces. Yet, despite rolling out their own red carpet, they contrived to trip themselves up.

The pressure of expectation played a part. While winning 10 games out of 10 in the group stage and semi-final, India built up an aura that encouraged their fans to believe they would not this time blow it in a knockout match. And you could see why: for 10/11ths of this competition, they have reigned supreme.

Perhaps they needed to be more thoroughly tested, more often. Their body language had been ominously quiet while New Zealand’s Daryl Mitchell and Kane Williamson had threatened to trouble them during Wednesday’s semi-final in Mumbai. Now, it went completely mute.

Australia, though, know how to win trophies, and the fighting spirit that has seen him overcome two early defeats – by India themselves and South Africa – was on show again after a faltering start to their chase.

In the second over, David Warner toe-ended a cut off Shami and was caught by Kohli at slip for seven – a loose stroke but one that hinted at Australia’s determination to get ahead of the rate before India’s spinners came on.

It was 41 for two when Mitchell Marsh edged a flashy cut at Jasprit Bumrah and was caught behind for 15. Six runs later, Smith, on four, was trapped on the crease by Bumrah, whose appeal was answered in the affirmative by umpire Richard Kettleborough.

For once, Smith declined to ask for a review – only for DRS to show he had been hit outside the line of off stump. It was a moment that seemed to suggest things might be going India’s way.

But if Head, the non-striker, felt guilty for failing to persuade Smith to use the technology, he set about making amends. As Labuschagne nudged and nurdled, Head played the shots, moving to a 58-ball half-century, hitting Shami back down the ground, and wristing Bumrah over midwicket.

Labuschagne survived a tight lbw shout on 34 against Bumrah, and Head would have been run out on 99 had Ravindra Jadeja hit from the covers. Seconds later, he was celebrating a gutsy but stylish 95-ball century.

But as the partnership continued to grow, and fans began to drift away, only one result became possible. The emptying stands was a heartbreaking sight for a team who had expected so much more.

Earlier, the Indian innings had been going smoothly enough at 76 for one in the 10th over, with only the wicket of Shubman Gill – who pulled Mitchell Starc to mid-on – to show for Cummins’s decision to bowl first.

But Rohit Sharma was superbly caught off Glenn Maxwell off Head, running back at cover to intercept a huge leading edge.

Maxwell’s winning shot was far from clean, but was enough to score the two runs necessary to win the game

Australia captain Pat Cummins celebrates with coach Andrew McDonald after winning the Cricket World Cup

Pat Cummins celebrates with match winner Travis Head after winning the Cricket World Cup in India

Head was dismissed after attempting to hit the winning runs but received a hero’s ovation by his teammates

Sharma was on his way for an otherwise imperious 47 off 31 balls, and when Cummins had Shreyas Iyer caught behind in the next over, India were suddenly 81 for three.

Cummins, who was bowling like a dream, had spoken in advance of trying to silence a huge crowd, and his plan was working a treat.

With Ravichandran Ashwin omitted yet again, this India side have four rabbits, and a combination of that fear, plus a sluggish pitch, meant Kohli and in particular KL Rahul settled for consolidation.

When Rahul paddle-swept Maxwell for four, it was both his first boundary, from his 59th ball, and the first of the innings for 98. The caution was understandable, but it needed both me to go on.

Instead, Kohli – after bringing up his ninth score of 50 or more in 11 innings of a record-breaking tournament – chopped on against Cummins. Soon after, with Australia getting the ball to reverse, Ravindra Jadeja was caught behind off Hazlewood for nine, before Rahul edged Starc on 66.

India superstar Virat Kohli watched on helplessly as Australia silenced the Indian crowd with an incredible performance

India captain Rohit Sharma cuts a dejected figure after seeing his side lose the World Cup final

An Australia fan celebrates in a sea of blue, with the Ahmedabad crowd stunned into silence for much of Sunday’s game

His own half-century had come off 86 balls, with a single four. It was the slowest 50 of this World Cup, until Labuschagne took 99 balls a few hours later.

At 203 for six in the 42nd over, with only Suryakumar Yadav and the tail remaining, Australia pounced. Mohammed Shami edged Starc, Jasprit Bumrah was trapped by Adam Zampa – the leg-spinner’s 23rd wicket of the tournament – and Suryakumar flapped a pull off Hazlewood, providing wicketkeeper Josh Inglis with the last of his five catches.

When Kuldeep Yadav was run out in the final over, India were all out for 240 – one fewer than both New Zealand and England managed on a similarly poor pitch in the final at Lord’s in 2019.

Australia had bowled beautifully, but India – with the exceptions of Sharma and Kohli – had shown surprisingly little intent. After the 10-over powerplay, they hit only four fours, an astonishing display of passivity from a team who have spent the last few weeks leaving a trail of destruction.

At the last, India have blown their chance of a third one-day World Cup. As for Australia, there wasn’t much yellow in the Narendra Modi Stadium this evening, but what little there was shone bright.

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