Australia’s World Cup journey: From embarrassing to inspiring – Times of India

Pegged at the bottom of the table after two back-to-back losses, Australia were hallucinating at the dangerous prospect of an early exit from their sixth World Cup-chasing campaign. Sri Lanka were cruising nicely with 125 for no loss and looking good for much more. Captain Pat Cumminswent for another bouncer and the Lankan right-hander went for the instinctive hook.From deep square leg,David Warner, the youngest Aussie at 37, dived and effected a stunning catch.
One can say that the turnaround button was switched on that moment. It all started with a catch. In the final, eight hard-fought wins later, Travis Head replicated that Warner moment. Running back following a Rohit Sharma miscued skier, the eventual player of the match, threw himself to grasp a heart-stopping catch. The Australian story in the 2023 World Cup is dotted with such electrifying moments and periods of utter disbelief.
TOI takes a look at the Aussie journey…

  • Comfortable wins against Sri Lanka and Pakistan steadied the ship.
  • Big win over the Netherlands in Delhi got the net run rate back on track too.
  • New Zealand and England both made Australia work hard for the points where Australia showed the grit and determination their cricket is known for.
  • Afghanistan would have defeated the Aussies if not for one of the all-time great One-day innings from Glenn Maxwell. He scored 201 not out in 128 balls, battling severe cramps, to rescue the team from 91 for 7.
  • Against Bangladesh, Marsh scored 177 to boost their confidence.
  • Spinner Adam Zampa finished the group stage with the most wickets (22) while Cummins, Mitch Starc and Josh Hazlewood all grabbed double-figures in support.
  • Australia’s bowlers enjoyed their best Powerplay of the tournament – 2-18 from the first 10 overs – in the semifinal against South Africa. David Warner and Travis Head pumped 60 off the first six overs while Hazlewood bowled throughout to finish with two for 12 from eight overs.
  • Head, suffering from a broken arm in the first half of the tournament, returned to the theatre like the superhero with a blistering century in Dharamshala. At 47/3, Australia were wobbling in the final. Taking India head-on, the 29-year-old took the game away with a century to continue the legacy of Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist.

Winner’s purse: $4 million (A$6.15m)
1. Aus vs Ind (Lose by 6 wkts)
2. Aus vs SA (Lose by 134 runs)
3. Aus vs SL (Win by 5 wkts; Zampa 4/47)
4. Aus vs Pak (Aus win by 62 runs) Warner 163; Marsh 121; Zampa 4/53
5. Aus vs Ned (Aus win by 309 runs) Maxwell 104, Warner 104; Zampa 4/8
6. Aus vs NZ (Aus win by 5 runs) Head 109, Warner 81 , Zampa 3/74
7. Aus vs Eng (Aus win by 33 runs) Labuschagne 71, Zampa 3/21
8. Aus vs Afg (Aus win by 3 wkts) Maxwell 201 not out
9. Aus vs Bangla (Aus Aus win by 8 wkts) Marsh 177 not out
10. SEMI-FINAL : Aus vs SA (Aus win by 3 wkts) Travis Head 62
11 FINAL: Aus vs Ind (Aus win by 6 wkts) Travis Head 137

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