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IND Vs AUS Final: Australia Beat India In ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 To Claim Record Sixth Title - Match Report

Australia increased their stronghold over the ICC ODI World Cup crown by claiming their sixth title. The Aussies beat hosts India at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad amid a sea of Blue shirts, all supporting the home nation. Here's how the events of the night unfolded

Australia celebrate winning CWC 23
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The unmatched feeling of hope filled the air outside the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad as a sea of blue shirts filtered in through its massive gates and just as eagerly enveloped its insides. India, playing hosts for ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, were also the favourites to win it, their ten match winning streak coming into the final providing evidence for the same. In the opposite corner, facing the Men in Blue and the giant wall of their supporters behind were record champions Australia. Five times the victors of the ODI World Cup already, Australia knew that claiming their sixth title would take something beyond the ordinary. (As It Happened | Scorecard | Full Coverage)

The mind games started as soon as the coin was tossed high up in the air; Australia won the toss and chose to field first, prompting India captain Rohit Sharma to reveal that he and his team got precisely what they desired. 

"I would have gone first in the batting order," he said. "Looks like a terrific pitch, a huge game, and runs scored. It's going to be incredible; every time we play here, a tremendous audience shows up. The largest cricketing event of the year. We must have a pleasant and tranquil demeanour. Captaining the squad in the final is a dream come true. I know what's in store for us. We must play well and achieve success. On the pitch, you must make the correct judgments. We've done it regularly over the previous ten games."

For a while, it looked as if Sharma was being true to his word. Off to a blistering start amid a cacophony of chants, cheers, and noise, Sharma raced to 47 before lofting the ball high in the air for Travis Head to collect in a desperate lunge with his back to the pitch. The Indian skipper walked, leaving Virat Kohli with the responsibility of shepherding the innings thereon. 

Kohli steadied the ship after India's early wicket drain alongside KL Rahul, both batters completing their half centuries, but neither could push their team to the massive target they so desired. In the end, the Men in Blue got all out for 240, leaving Australia a modest target to chase for their sixth world title. 

The start of Australia's batting was more punctuated than their counterparts'. The five-time ODI World Cup winners lost David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, and Steve Smith before they hit the 50-run mark, handing back the advantage to the hosts. 

For a moment, all seemed well inside the Narendra Modi Stadium, the all-blue crowd content with what they had seen early on in the second innings. Things didn't unravel rapidly; they took their time, instead. Their backs against the wall and a considerable target to chase, Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head hung on through several nervous minutes, blocking attack after attack from the Indian bowlers while sneaking in significant runs every now and then. And just like that, a partnership had been built - one which would lead to the eventual downfall of India. 

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The Indian pacers simply had no answer to Labuschagne and Head's composed approach. While the former kept things steady with an innings that one might see in a test match, the latter raced to his ton, dragging Australia along toward the target. The closest India came to dismissing either Labuschagne or Head during those slogging middle overs was when a Jasprit Bumrah delivery hit Labuschagne on the pad but which, upon review, was revelaed to have skirted just wide of the leg stump.

Head did, finally, give away his wicket to Mohammed Siraj but, by then, Australia needed two runs to win. Glenn Maxwell, scorer of the competition's only double-ton, had rarely had an easier task at hand. He hit the ball long and hard toward the boundary and ran the length required to take Australia over the threshold. 

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