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Australia, 3 World titles and a 2023 to cherish for lifetime

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Australia, 3 World titles and a 2023 to cherish for lifetime


Playing finals is in Australia’s blood, be in men’s or women’s cricket. Taking part in knockout matches needs an immense amount of mental strength and to win such matches, not once or twice, but on a regular basis, is worth appreciating. Australia deserves that appreciation. From Allan Border, Steve Waugh, Meg Lanning to now Pat Cummins, most of their captains have created a legacy of their own.

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Australia have won as many as 20 World Cup titles, which shows their character to step up time and again at the big stage. Even as a powerhouse like India is searching for their first ICC title since 2013, the Aussies have won three championships this year itself.

On Sunday, the Australia men’s team won their sixth ODI World Cup title. Just when it seemed that Cummins and Co. were not at their very best in the league stage, they upped their game in the knockouts, first beating South Africa in the semis, followed by India in the final.

It was an end to what had been a memorable year for the Aussies. But their journey in ICC events this year started back in February.

Lanning starts it off

Meg Lanning led Australia to the Women’s T20 World Cup title in 2023. Courtesy: Reuters

Earlier this year, Lanning guided the women’s team through to glory in the T20 World Cup on South African soil. In the semis against India at the Newlands, Jess Jonassen and Ash Gardner helped Australia snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Harmanpreet Kaur nearly pulled a rabbit out of the hat by scoring 52 runs before India’s batting completely fell apart in the death overs. Australia made light work of South Africa in the final and won their sixth Women’s T20 World Cup title.

Although Lanning will not be there when Australia Women next step out for a World Cup, she has formed a strong base for the team, which is capable of gaining many more heights.

Beth Mooney scored 78 in the Women’s T20 World Cup final against India. In the 2023 final against the Proteas Women, she scored an unbeaten 74. Mooney’s knocks spoke volumes about the mental tenacity of the Australians and their cricket culture.

Cummins takes over

Pat Cummins helped Australia win the 2021-23 World Test Championship. Courtesy: Reuters

Australia missed out on qualifying for the final of the 2019-21 World Test Championship (WTC), but Cummins made sure that they took part in the summit clash of the 2021-23 edition. Facing India, who beat them 2-1 earlier this year in the Border Gavaskar Trophy, was expected to pose challenges.

But Australia made sure that they beat India by 209 runs at the Kennington Oval to win the WTC 2021-23. Travis Head and Steve Smith tormented India to start with, before Mitchell Starc, Cummins, Scott Boland, and Nathan Lyon unleashed hell on the Indian batters.

On a decent pitch to bat on, India needed 280 runs to win on the last day with seven wickets in hand. But from 164 for three at Stumps on Day 4, Rohit Sharma’s India were bowled out for 234 while chasing a mammoth target of 444.

Cummins kept growing in stature as a skipper after Australia retained the Ashes, although they failed to win the series despite taking a 2-0 lead with wins at Edgbaston and Lord’s. One should not forget Cummins’ 44-run knock in the final innings of the Birmingham Test where he put on an unbeaten 55-run stand with Lyon.

Cummins does it again

Australia again showed that they won ICC trophies regardless of the format. Courtesy: Reuters

After their first two matches where they lost to India and South Africa, it seemed that the five-time world champions were on the decline. Talks about fatigue surfaced, questions about Cummins’ captaincy arose as Australia once found themselves right at the bottom of the table.

But then, Australia showed why they are rightfully called ‘serial winners’. They showed why being champions does not mean winning matches after matches, but rising like a phoenix from the ashes with backs against the walls.

India went into the final with ten dominant wins where they scored runs and bowled opposition out for fun. The Aussies, on the other hand, had their share of hiccups in most matches before they turned up the heat in the semi-final and final.

Before World Cup 2023, Australia lost six out of 11 ODIs this year and lost back-to-back series at the hands of India and South Africa. But they upped their game just when it was needed and that’s all that mattered to them in the end.

One thing is clear, regardless of their form in bilateral or other series, one cannot afford to make assumptions about Australia’s performance in ICC events.

Doing so is equivalent to living in a fool’s paradise. Over and out!

Published By:

sabyasachi chowdhury

Published On:

Nov 20, 2023

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