Australia win (again)

The World Cup final

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It’s quite an emotional time for the Australian team. And this is weird, because they have now won their 6th World Cup title. It’s not New Zealand or South Africa winning.

Travis Head was supposed to be the next big thing back when he broke into the team in 2016/17. He was even the vice-captain, and then in a couple of years he fell out of favour with the team and he couldn’t get an IPL gig either.

Travis Head hit a lot of boundaries

I think is one of the most incredible things you’d see in this game. So I noticed that Travis Head hit more boundaries than the entire Indian team. I was shocked when I saw Australia would win the toss and bowl, going by how they chased in the rest of the tournament. But it was perhaps easier to bat in the 2nd innings. So the conditions definitely helped Travis Head, but he attacked a lot more than the Indian batters.

VIndia went into that defensive mindset again after losing the 3 wickets. Even if you factor in the conditions and Head’s luck at the start, there’s no doubt that Head went in with the intent that the Indian batters didn’t and it made a huge difference in the eventual result of the game.

So Travis Head essentially has two major scoring options when you look at his ODI career. Looking back at my early notes, I thought of that as a bit of a negative. He can play a cut, I mean he can slice the ball off the open face of the bat. Some of the deliveries where he was almost bowled by Shami and Bumrah is when he was doing that. Getting himself into a position where he was staying very leg side of the ball and trying to get it away.

The other shot was the slog. This is the sort of map you see ODI players in the 90s, where they have 2 key areas and they sort of go with them. It does show you how good he is at the things he is good at, and how weak he can be at certain parts.

Via - Star Sports

Shami to left-handers

I would have considered bringing in Ashwin instead of Siraj for this game, and I don’t know if that would have made a difference. Ashwin would have probably been more economical, but I’m not saying that it would have been a mistake. But Shami’s record against left-handers this World Cup probably had a part to play in not thinking of Shami in the side.

This was an absolutely remarkable record here from Shami. Head actually played him pretty well, but he struggled a lot against Bumrah early on. I understand why they gave Shami the new ball, but we saw that he struggled a little bit more with the newer ball. Siraj was bowling alright up top in the rest of the tournament, but not even close to as well as the other two. I get why Rohit did Shami bring him on early, he would have wanted early wickets while defending a relatively low total.

Via - Star Sports

Pat Cummins makes a difference

That ball to Virat was a real hinge point in the game. Rohit and Virat’s wickets really changed the dimensions of the game. When Rohit went out, they still had a chance of getting 280. When Virat got out, 280 was probably very unrealistic. I think the wicket that got him was a cross-seamer rather than a cutter. This was the sort of the pitch that he prefers while bowling in Asia.

I have often said that Cummins is an average slower-ball bowler. None of these bowlers had a great World Cup, and them resorting to the slower ball that often speaks more about how their stock deliveries didn’t quite work out as well as they would have expected. This pitch probably helped Pat Cummins’ slower ball. Going shorter was another thing that helped him. I don’t think they beat India without all 4 frontline bowlers plus the assortment of the 5th bowling option doing different things to tackle this Indian batting lineup. Turns out Cummins is not too woke to win for Australia, because at the moment he has been winning everywhere.

Via - Star Sports

India’s batting today

It will be interesting to see the final narrative on KL Rahul. In some ways, his innings is what gave India a chance to win. But KL and Virat did bat slow after the Powerplay, especially KL. But so did Marnus. Probably one of him or Virat should have gone harder, while the other took it deep. Obviously, that didn’t happen today because of the conditions, how well Australia bowled, and also that India slowed down on purpose because of those 3 early wickets.

Jadeja’s promotion was also an interesting one. I thought Australia would have sent out Maxwell in a similar situation because they were a little behind the rate, and expected him to play a 40 off 30 sort of an innings to shift the momentum back in their favour. India could have done that with SKY, but obviously, Maxwell is a much superior ODI player. Having said that, SKY also really struggled in his stay.

I thought it was much harder to rotate the strike and hit the boundaries in the first innings. KL’s innings was needed, but they didn’t get the innings which they expected from SKY and Jadeja at the stage of the innings. KL and Kohli probably misread the pitch a little and didn’t take a few more risks which they could have.

I know some of this is because of the 3 early wickets and Kohli-KL decided to bat a bit slow because of the cushion Rohit gave at the top. That pitch reminded me a lot of some of the IPL pitches, where the new ball is particularly easy to hit but the older balls.

Via - Star Sports

Why didn’t that happen to Australia? Sometimes, because of the moisture the ball comes on a little bit better in the second innings. Australia also went hard at the top - they were 40 in 4 overs - because they knew it could get trickier as the game progressed, even if they lost 3 wickets in the Powerplay.

I’ve talked about the Evan Gulbis effect. When you’re a batter, sometimes you look at the batting card and look where it ends. If it is a bit shallow, they tend to bat a little more conservatively. So sometimes, professional batters plan their innings that way. Not all of them though, it hasn’t really affected the way Rohit plays.

Maybe Virat would be more aggressive with Hardik at 6 and Shardul at 8. We are talking of different game situations and opponents here, but it definitely did change the way he approached the innings. He even mentioned it in the mid-innings break against South Africa in the game at Eden Gardens 2 weeks ago, that he looked to bat a lot more deep.

And it’s not just Kohli. India as a whole do bat a little more within themselves in those middle overs when their 6-7-8 isn’t as strong.

You have a strike rate of 151, 85, 61, 40 and 64. SKY is the most interesting one here. Weird scorecard. Shout out to Kuldeep, who I thought batted pretty well.