Pat Cummins on Australia’s victory: “You have to win a World Cup. You can’t wait for it to happen. You have to be brave, take the game on. There was a big shift after the first two games. There was total buy-in and it worked. This is a year we will remember for a long time”
Watch the moment Australia won the 2023 Cricket World Cup to claim the title for a record extending sixth time
Nasser Hussain says Australia’s World Cup victory over India will go down as one of the greatest of all time.
Pat Cummins’ team snapped the host nation’s 10-match winning streak in the tournament, triumphing by six wickets in the 132,000-seater Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Australia lost their first two matches, convincingly beaten by India and South Africa, before reeling of nine victories in a row to claim the 50-over World Cup for a record-extending sixth time.
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Travis Head scored a 95-ball century as Australia beat India by six wickets
Travis Head (137 off 120 balls) was player of the match, reviving Australia from 47-3 in a chase of 241, but Hussain also hailed Cummins’ decision to bowl after winning the toss.
‘Australia always find a way’
Sky Sports Cricket expert Hussain said: “Australia always find a way and this has to go down as one of the great World Cup wins – for anyone given the context of the tournament.
“India were undefeated and playing the best cricket, all their players were in form, 120,000 fans were expecting India to win, so this was some performance.
“It was a brave decision from Cummins to bowl first.
Image: Pat Cummins' two wickets, including Virat Kohli for 54, and captaincy helped Australia to glory in the final
“A weak captain makes a decision that if it goes wrong and you lose it makes you look less bad. But he made a brave and right decision. He absolutely nailed it. He nailed everything.
“Field placements, bowling changes. Everything was spot on.”
‘Australia showed their nerve and temperament’
Hussain’s fellow Sky Sports pundit Michael Atherton added of Australia, who beat India in the World Test Championship final in June and then retained the Ashes a month later: “They are an amazing team, you have to hand it to them.
“They have won the World Test Championship, retained the Ashes and have now shown their nerve and temperament in the World Cup.
“There were under pressure after two defeats, the captain was under pressure, people questioned strategy, tactics and personnel.
“They have done it the hard way on a pudding of a pitch that would be so different to one at home, and against a tip-top team.”
Cummins said Australia saved their best performance for last as they beat India in Ahmedabad
Cummins was instrumental as Australia dismissed India for 240 in exactly 50 overs, taking 2-34, including the key scalp of Virat Kohli for 54, and continually rotating his bowlers, often for one-over spells so as to not let the home batters settle.
The skipper admitted to feeling nervous after David Warner (7), Mitchell Marsh (15) and Steve Smith (4) fell inside seven overs of Australia’s reply but then hailed “legend” Head for his match-winning knock.
‘You have to win World Cups, you can’t wait for it to happen’
Cummins added: “We’ve had a lot of success and this pips it all. Top of the mountain. We saved our best for last. The players stood up and were are pretty chuffed.
“The pitch was slower that we thought but our players adjusted. On a pitch like that you get variable bounce so we put a couple of catchers on the leg-side and made India make decisions.”
Virat Kohli dragged Cummins onto his stumps to fall for 54 and stun the pro-India crowd in the Cricket World Cup final
On Australia going from successive defeats to nine wins on the trot, Cummins highlighted a new-found aggressive mindset.
“You have to win a World Cup. You can’t wait for it to happen,” he added. “You have to be brave, take the game on.
“There was a big shift after the first two games. The openers, in particular, went really aggressive and didn’t waver. There was total buy-in and it worked.
“This is a year we will remember for a long, long time”