Ahmedabad, November 18 (Language) When the two best teams of the World Cup 2023, India and Australia, face each other in the final on Sunday, there will be some tough personal battles between the players of both the teams.
India are the only unbeaten team of the tournament while Australia have not looked back after starting with two consecutive defeats.
As a team, India has performed better than Australia and is a strong contender to win the prestigious title at home after 12 years.
On the other hand, when it comes to global trophies, Australia has no match and five titles in seven finals is proof of this.
The final is expected to be exciting and ‘PTI-Bhasha’ takes a look at the possible individual matches.
Fast bowling pair of Rohit Sharma vs Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood:
Indian captain Rohit remained in the news throughout the tournament by targeting the bowlers in the initial powerplay. His risky batting, however, reduced the pressure on other batsmen and allowed players like Virat Kohli and Shubman Gill to take time and build their innings.
Rohit stepped up in the third over of the semi-final and hit a six over cover off Trent Boult, reflecting the Indian captain’s fearless approach during a long and grueling tournament.
The big question is whether he can do the same against Hazlewood and Starc in the opening powerplay on Sunday. India will be heavily dependent on Rohit, who was LBW by Hazlewood early in the league match against Australia in Chennai.
Hazlewood will continue to ask questions with his seam movement while Starc will be looking for the inswinger that has troubled Rohit in the past. This is probably the most important match of Rohit’s career and it is expected that he will face the challenge bravely.
Mohammed Shami vs left handed opening batsman:
This tournament has been memorable for Shami with 23 wickets in six matches. Neither batsman has been able to find a way to deal with the movement they are getting from the seam.
The skilled Indian fast bowler has troubled the left-handed batsmen especially while bowling around the wicket and even champion cricketers like Ben Stokes had no answer for him.
In the first powerplay of the first semi-final, Shami had left-handed openers Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra caught behind in their successive overs.
Considering Shami’s excellent performance against left-handed batsmen, he may get a chance to open the bowling with Jasprit Bumrah against the opening pair of David Warner and Travis Head.
The 33-year-old Amroha-born fast bowler has been used by Rohit as the first change but considering the threat from Warner and Head, Rohit will be keen to give the new ball to Shami.
Virat Kohli vs Adam Zampa:
Kohli has often struggled against left-arm spinners in recent times but leg spinner Zampa has also troubled him and got the wicket of the Indian superstar eight times.
The battle between the player who scored the most runs in the tournament and the most successful spinner will be worth watching.
Kohli has scored 711 runs at a strike rate of 90.69 and an average of 101.57.
Zampa likes to target the stumps and it remains to be seen whether Kohli will surprise him by adopting an aggressive approach against him.
Kuldeep Yadav vs Glenn Maxwell:
It is a testament to Kuldeep’s brilliant skills that except Daryl Mitchell, no other batsman could play aggressively against this left-arm wrist spinner.
Mitchell targeted the straight boundary against Kuldeep in Dharamshala but Maxwell has a lot of shots and only he can play some of them.
If Maxwell manages to survive on Sunday, it will be the toughest test for Kuldeep.
Maxwell can target deep midwicket and long on middle while playing with spin and he also has the ability to spoil Kuldeep’s rhythm with tempting reverse hits when the ball goes outside the off stump. If this happens, Kuldeep will have to think out of the box to trick the Australian.
David Warner vs Jasprit Bumrah:
Bumrah, who has taken 18 wickets in 10 matches with an incredible economy rate of 3.98 in the ongoing World Cup, has so far not been able to dismiss Warner in 14 ODIs.
Warner has scored 117 runs facing 130 balls of Bumrah.
Since returning from injury, Bumrah has added a lethal outswinger to his quiver and this could help him trouble the in-form Warner, who is Australia’s leading run-scorer in the tournament with 528 runs.