Australia will aim to clinch their record-extending sixth ICC ODI World Cup title when they lock horns with India in the World Cup 2023 final on November 19. The Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad will host this match, scheduled to commence at 2:00 PM IST. Since the twin defeats in the opening two group phase matches, the Aussies have bounced back strongly to win each of their subsequent eight fixtures, including a win in the all-important semi-final. The Pat Cummins-led side faced a 134-run loss versus South Africa earlier in the competition.
However, they avenged that defeat in the semi-final stage with a narrow three-wicket victory.
Opting to bat first, the Proteas registered 212/10 courtesy of a terrific ton by the left-handed batter David Miller. Thereafter, an all-round batting effort, led by Travis Head’s half-century, helped the five-time champions get over the line and seal the summit clash against India.
As far as the team combination for the ICC World Cup 2023 final is concerned, Australia are certain to name an unchanged XI following a string of positive results.
Openers: David Warner and Travis Head
Throughout the tournament, David Warner has been a pivotal force for Australia, amassing 528 runs in 10 matches with a remarkable average of 52.80. With two centuries and half-centuries apiece, he has been successful in providing aggressive starts during the powerplay phase.
Travis Head endured a couple of poor outings against Bangladesh and Afghanistan but made up for it with a fantastic all-round performance in the semis against South Africa, picking up two wickets and scoring 62 off 48 balls. Expect the 29-year-old to come good versus the resilient hosts.
Middle order: Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Inglis
Mitchell Marsh, demoted to no. 3 to accommodate Travis Head in the opening slot, has been in consistent form in the ongoing competition. The right-handed batter has racked up 426 runs in nine innings at a strike rate of 107.84 alongside taking two wickets.
Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne, though unable to replicate their Test cricket prowess, have been handy for the Aussies in the middle order. While Smith has scored 298 runs with the help of two fifties, Labuschagne has contributed 304 runs, including two 50+ scores.
Wicket-keeper batter Josh Inglis has fared decently so far, accumulating 159 runs in eight innings, with 58 against Sri Lanka being his best individual show with the bat. Moreover, he has accounted for nine catches and two stumpings as well.
All-rounders: Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell’s scintillating 201* against Afghanistan spared the blushes of the Australian side, who were given a major scare by the Asian outfit. Nonetheless, he has demonstrated his all-round abilities in the ICC World Cup 2023, racking up 398 runs, including two centuries. With the ball, he has taken five wickets at an economy of 4.72.
Bowlers: Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Adam Zampa
Captain Pat Cummins has been a crucial source of wickets for the Australians, hunting 13 wickets at an economy of 6.05. Furthermore, his calm demeanour with the bat in pressure situations has proved valuable for his team, scoring 128 runs in eight innings.
Mitchell Stach and Josh Hazlewood have been one of the most consistent duos in the bowling unit, especially in the powerplay phase, combining for 27 wickets between them. Australia will bank on them to lay the foundation with early breakthroughs and put their side on top against India.
Adam Zampa is a vital cog in the spin department for the Aussies and has been their leading wicket-taker with 22 wickets in 10 matches. The veteran would look to make the most of the conditions on offer at the venue and add to his tally in his quest to top the wicket-taking charts at the end of the ICC World Cup 2023.
Australia’s Predicted Playing XI: David Warner, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Inglis (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Adam Zampa
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