World Cup 2023: Top Australian players to watch out for in final against India
PTC News Desk: Australia will face India in the ICC Cricket World Cup final at Ahmedabad's Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday. The mighty Aussies did their country proud by defeating India in a one-sided final of the tournament in 2003, but the challenge this time will be much more difficult.
Men in Blue have checked every box in the tournament. With a hard-hitting top-order, a middle-order that offers a mix of aggression and stability, a pace attack that appears to be doing insane tricks on almost every ball, and spin bowlers who choke world-class batters with their flight and turn, India has it all.
These are the players who will need to be at their best if they are to win their sixth World Cup in front of a loud Indian crowd:
The left-handed opener poses the greatest threat to the Indian bowling attack. This youngster, unlike his older, more responsible partner David Warner, has no baggage from the past. His aggressive, free-flowing cricket is a carbon copy of Indian captain Rohit Sharma's.
At the age of 37, the veteran opener is likely to be playing his final ODI World Cup, and unleashing the vintage, heavy-hitting Warner in the finals will be his goal, as it could single-handedly lead Australia to their sixth title.
The opener has smashed 528 runs in 10 matches at an average of more than 52, with two centuries and two fifties.
With a string of low scores, the all-rounder had a disastrous start to the ODI World Cup. But he turned things around with a 40-ball century against the Netherlands, the fastest in tournament history.
Later, when the Asian side had the five-time champions struggling at 91/7 during a run-chase of 292, Maxwell exposed the gulf of championship titles, inexperience, and champion mentality that separated both teams with an instant classic knock. Despite cramps and heat, he single-handedly won the game for Australia with 201* in 128 balls.
The 'World Cup Starc' did not appear this year. With his World Cup wicket-taking streak broken and a tally of 13 wickets in nine matches, Indian batters will be determined to take advantage of Starc's mental struggles following an underwhelming tournament.
However, there were glimpses of Starc's big-match abilities in the semi-finals against South Africa, where a three-wicket haul knocked the South Africans out of the game. Proteas were unable to score against him on the powerplay. It's not surprising that Starc reaches his peak against India and becomes a threatening presence on the crease.
The Australian captain is known for peaking at the right time. Cummins has taken 13 wickets in 10 World Cup matches and provided some much-needed calm with the bat during tense run-chases. If India gets him while bowling, Cummins could get them with his bat, or vice versa.
- PTC NEWS