In a thrilling final of the ongoing ODI World Cup 2023, watched by a crowd of over 100,000, Australia displayed a strong bowling performance to restrict India to a total of 240. Opting to bowl first on a dry pitch, Pat Cummins’ decision initially seemed risky as Rohit Sharma led India’s charge with aggressive batting in the powerplay.

Sharma’s brilliant inning with four fours and three sixes hinted at a big score, but Australia’s decision to bring in spin bowlers paid off. Sharma’s attempt to hit Maxwell ended in a miscue, and Travis Head’s outstanding catch left the crowd silent. The silence continued when Shreyas Iyer fell to Cummins’ brilliant bowling, putting India in a difficult position.

Losing two quick wickets prompted India to consolidate, and Kohli, along with KL Rahul, tried to steady the innings. Despite their efforts, Australia maintained tight control, not giving away easy runs. Cummins, with his off-pace deliveries, led the bowling attack, conceding no boundaries in his ten-over spell.

Cummins led from the front

Kohli, who scored another fifty in the tournament, fell victim to Cummins’ brilliance, getting out after scoring 54. Despite India’s attempt to change the batting order by sending in Ravindra Jadeja, Australia’s disciplined bowling prevented boundaries. Rahul reached a fifty, but India couldn’t produce the late surge they were hoping for.

Australia’s bowlers used reverse swing and slower cutters to their advantage and found success as Hazlewood and Starc dismissed Jadeja and Rahul, respectively. Suryakumar Yadav’s efforts to boost India’s total faltered as he was out to a slow bouncer from Hazlewood. India’s innings ended at 240, setting the stage for an exciting finish, with the looming question of dew potentially changing the game as Australia had anticipated.

Mitchell Starc with a bowling figure of 10-55-3 was the best bowler from Australia. He was well supported by Hazlewood (2) and Cummins (2). Glenn Maxwell and Adam Zampa grabbed one each to subject India to a low total. 

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