As the 2023 Men's ODI World Cup reaches its pinnacle, Australia's captain, Pat Cummins, is eagerly anticipating the final showdown against India at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday. Reflecting on the team's journey, Cummins highlighted the significance of winning the 2015 edition and expressed his excitement about the upcoming face-off with the hosts.
Australia secured their spot in the final by defeating South Africa by three wickets in a nail-biting semi-final at Eden Gardens. This victory sets the stage for a title clash with India, marking their eighth Men's ODI World Cup final and a rematch of the 2003 World Cup finale.
Cummins, speaking at the post-match presentation, acknowledged the one-sided support they might face in India but emphasized the need to embrace the moment. Drawing parallels to the 2015 World Cup, he described the upcoming final as a career highlight.
"The good thing is a few of us have been there for finals before. Got to embrace it, the stadium is going to be packed, pretty one-sided but got to embrace it. The 2015 World Cup was a career highlight, so to be out there in a final in India, can't wait," Cummins said.
In the semi-final, Travis Head's impressive knock of 62, supported by contributions from Steven Smith, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Starc, and Cummins himself, steered Australia to victory. Cummins and Starc, with three wickets each, played pivotal roles in restricting South Africa to 212. The early blows dealt by Starc and Josh Hazlewood laid the foundation for Australia's strong position, complemented by exceptional fielding.
Cummins reflected on the team's improved fielding throughout the tournament, crediting players like David Warner for their incredible efforts. He highlighted Head's knack for finding wickets and praised the diverse contributions from different bowlers throughout the competition.
The Player of the Match, Travis Head, expressed the intensity of the game and its tense finish. Having missed the initial phase due to a fractured hand, Head emphasized his desire to contribute to Australia's success. He discussed his crucial dismissal of Heinrich Klaasen and Marco Jansen and acknowledged India's formidable bowling attack.
As Head looks forward to the World Cup final against the competition's leading team, he expressed disbelief at the remarkable journey. Despite the disappointment of his own dismissal, Head remains positive about Australia's aggressive approach and their pursuit of victory in the ultimate cricketing spectacle.