Team India aims to put 2003 ghosts to rest as it locks horns against mighty Aussies in final

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In a rematch of the 2003 Cricket World Cup final, India is set to face Australia in the ICC Cricket World Cup final at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium this Sunday.

India secured their place in the finals after a convincing 70-run victory over New Zealand in the semifinal held in Mumbai. This marks India’s fourth appearance in a World Cup final, having clinched the title in 1983 and 2011 but facing a defeat in 2003 against Australia in South Africa by 125 runs. The Indian team is determined to seize their third title and seek redemption for the painful loss to Australia in Johannesburg back in 2003.

Australia, on the other hand, secured their spot in the final by winning a tightly contested semifinal against South Africa in Kolkata, triumphing by three wickets. The Australians have a strong track record in World Cups, having claimed victory in 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2015.

Throughout the tournament, India has displayed impeccable form, maintaining an unbeaten streak with ten wins in as many games. Their top order, comprising Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, and Virat Kohli, has consistently set the tone with aggressive batting. The middle-order offers a blend of aggression and stability, while the pace attack has been relentless, complemented by spinners who have proven to be elusive.

In terms of key players, Rohit Sharma boasts an impressive ODI record against Australia, scoring 2,332 runs in 44 matches at an average of 58.30, including eight centuries and nine fifties. Meanwhile, Virat Kohli, known for his prowess in significant clashes, has accumulated 2,313 runs against Australia in 48 matches at an average of 53.79, with eight centuries and 13 fifties.

India’s bowling attack has been formidable, led by Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Siraj among others. Spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja have effectively contained opponents in the middle overs.

However, India must be cautious of potential pitfalls, such as succumbing to pressure in high-stakes encounters, handling spin-friendly pitches, maintaining a balanced attacking approach, and ensuring sharp fielding to avoid costly mistakes.

Australia’s performance heavily relies on the opening trio of David Warner, Travis Head, and Mitchell Marsh, known for their aggressive approach. Yet, facing India’s formidable bowling attack, they need to balance their natural game without succumbing to pressure.

Australia’s middle-order, including Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Inglis, and Glenn Maxwell, has been inconsistent and struggled against Indian bowling, raising concerns about capitalizing on good starts.

In terms of bowling, while Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Pat Cummins haven’t hit their peak form, spinners Adam Zampa and Glenn Maxwell could play crucial roles, especially if the pitch aids spin.

Both squads have talented players and strengths to exploit, making the final an eagerly anticipated clash between two cricketing giants.

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