Australia showcased strategic prowess early in the game, with skipper Pat Cummins winning the toss and opting to field, setting the tone for a well-executed plan against India. Despite India’s 40-night streak of invincibility since their first win against Australia in Chennai, the 41st night saw them stumble to a subdued defeat. The loss prompts various post-mortems, attributing it to either the prevailing Australianism in crucial moments or mere misfortune.
The World Cup final discourse will undoubtedly revolve around the acknowledgment that India encountered a team with meticulous planning, flawless execution, and a swift start on the tournament’s concluding day. Australia defied conventional wisdom, relying on their conviction and strength while seamlessly adapting to the unfamiliar Ahmedabad conditions. Even players accustomed to bouncy tracks looked comfortable on the slow and sluggish pitch. Ironically, it was India’s conscious decision to choose the slow track, ultimately proving to be a stumbling block.
Coach Rahul Dravid, following his tournament pattern, arrived with his support staff three days before the final to assess the pitch. While Ahmedabad’s pitches were consistent throughout the World Cup, this particular track’s sluggishness stood out. Despite India’s earlier success on this track against Pakistan, Australia had a comprehensive bowling plan and specific field placements tailored for each Indian batsman.
Australia’s bowlers maintained a strategic approach, avoiding full deliveries, while spinners maintained a controlled pace. Their fielding was exceptional, reflecting a sense of urgency in saving runs and taking catches. Australia demonstrated an understanding of the Ahmedabad match pattern, leveraging the conditions to their advantage. The familiarity with the pitch, the effective bowling strategy, and astute field placements led to a replication of the match scenario from the tournament’s opening game, ultimately culminating in Australia’s triumph in the T20 World Cup final.