Saturday, November 18, 2023
As cricket fans around the world gear up for the much-awaited World Cup 2023 final, Australia's skipper Pat Cummins has said that the five-time winners are "ready for anything" that hosts India will throw at them during Sunday's final at Ahmedabad's Narendra Modi stadium.
"We'll be ready in terms of anything they'll throw at us [...] we'll make sure we have some plans," Cummins said while speaking at a pre-match press conference in Ahmedabad.
Hosts India — looking to win their first ICC trophy since 2013 — have been unbeaten in the tournament so far and made it to the final after securing an impressive win against New Zealand in the first semi-final, whereas five-time winners Australia — eyeing their sixth title — reached the final after they triumphed over South Africa in the semis.
Acknowledging that there will be advantages for the Rohit Sharma-led side for playing in their own backyard he said, "No doubt playing on your own wicket in your own country has some advantages."
Speaking on the pitch for tomorrow's all-important final, the Australian captain said that he has seen the pitch and it "looked pretty firm".
Responding to a question if the wicket was similar to Kolkata where Australia played their semi-final against South Africa, he said: "I think it's been a bit more high-scoring here throughout the tournament. Yeah, it's been a pretty good wicket.”
"You've got to be brave with some of the balls you use, slower balls, bouncers, you've got to find that balance between mixing it up but also not go chasing too much," he added.
Meanwhile, Sharma said that he expects the pitch "to be on the slower side" stressing that the toss "will not" play a key factor.
"You've got to play well to win the game regardless of how well you know the conditions," the Indian skipper added.
The skippers' remarks come as a controversy had arisen in the lead-up to their 70-run semi-final over New Zealand in Mumbai after it emerged the game was being played on a Wankhede Stadium pitch already used twice before during the tournament rather than a freshly prepared surface.
The final will be played on the same surface as the one on which India cruised to a seven-wicket win over Pakistan in the group stage after dismissing the Green Shirts at 191 runs.
— With additional input from AFP