The Indian men’s cricket team have been the best side in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup. The sheer dominance and ability to eke out win after win throughout the tournament has made the Men in Blue the favourites.
Rohit Sharma-led Team India have won all their matches in their run to the final, where Australia lay in wait.
In fact, both sides had started their campaign in this edition against each other.
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India’s Road to Final
vs Australia: won by 6 wickets
vs Afghanistan: won by 8 wickets
vs Pakistan: won by 7 wickets
vs Bangladesh: won by 7 wickets
vs New Zealand: won by 4 wickets
vs England: won by 100 runs
vs Sri Lanka: won by 302 runs
vs South Africa: won by 243 runs
vs Netherlands: won by 160 runs
Semi-final v New Zealand: won by 70 runs
Australia, despite losing their first two matches, have won eight games on the bounce and find themselves in the summit clash.
Australia’s Road to Final
vs India: lost by 6 wickets
vs South Africa: lost by 134 runs
vs Sri Lanka: won by 5 wickets
vs Pakistan: won by 62 runs
vs Netherlands: won by 309 runs
vs New Zealand: won by 5 runs
vs England: won by 33 runs
vs Afghanistan: won by 3 wickets
vs Bangladesh: won by 8 wickets
Semi-final v South Africa: won by 3 wickets
IND vs AUS – Head-to-head
India wins: 57
Australia wins: 83
No result: 10
India statically have been the better side, with the players with the most runs as well as the most wickets in their ranks.
Virat Kohli has scored the most runs and also has the best average in the tournament. With 711 runs, including three landmark centuries, Kohli has been bossing the bowlers with the bat. India, in fact, has three batters in the top 10 in the list of most runs. Rohit Sharma with his bombastic approach has light India’s innings every time. Shreyas Iyer too silenced his critics and doubters alike and made the number four spot his own.
Not only that, Iyer has been consistent too, with back-to-back hundreds to his name in the run-up to the final. He along with KL Rahul has shored up the batting line-up down the order.
The fact is that Indian batters have been able to tackle any and every challenge thrown at them so far, with bucketloads of runs and more-than-competitive strike rates. Simply put – the Indians have been the better batters.
As for bowlers, Indians have been uniquely dominant. Be it Mohammad Shami’s lethal line and length or Jasprit Bumrah’s nonchalance with consistent deliveries, India have reaped the benefits.
Shami did not find a place in the Indian side in the initial matches and once the team combination was tweaked after Hardik Pandya’s injury, opposition batters stepped out in fear. If it was not Shami, Burmah and Mohammed Siraj stepped up. In the spin bowling department, Ravindra Jadeja’s right lines and economical bowling brought him wickets. Kuldeep Yadav turned strike bowler in the middle overs too to tighten the noose on many batting line-ups.
The best bowling averages list has four Indians with two of them being part-timers – Kohli and Rohit. So those wickets came in an inconsequential encounter against the Netherlands.
Aside from the batting and bowling, India have been r=gun in the field. KL Rahul has been a bank behind the wickets, saving runs, taking catches (15) and completing stampings (1). He is behind only Quinton de Kock with the most dismissals this World Cup.
Even though Jadeja’s contribution in the outfield is not exactly quantifiable, the all-rounder has seven catches to his name, the joint-fourth.
If India manage to win, they will equal Australia’s record of most consecutive win in a single edition of a World Cup of 11 back-to-back victories, something the Aussies managed twice – in 2003 and 2007.
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