*Eoin Morgan: Winning a World Cup ‘an unparalleled feeling that reverberates through time’*
The pre-final Captains’ image with Rohit Sharma and Pat Cummins alongside the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Trophy at the iconic Adalaj Stepwell can be accessed rights-free from the ICC’s Online Media Zone.
Winning a World Cup is more than just lifting a trophy. It's an unparalleled feeling that reverberates through time, inspiring cricketers across borders and generations.
Having experienced this euphoria after the dramatic 2019 World Cup final at Lords, I can attest to the transformative power of such a moment.
Cricketing legends like Clive Lloyd, Kapil Dev, Allan Border, Imran Khan, Arjuna Ranatunga, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, MS Dhoni, Michael Clarke, and their teams have etched their names in history, proudly acknowledging the sacrifices, dedication, and teamwork that define a championship campaign.
The scene is set for a blockbuster event at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, the 130,000-seater venue which witnessed the tournament opener, and will stage the climactic clash between hosts India and the seasoned Australian side.
Both captains took part in the traditional pre-final photo on Saturday at the historic Adalaj Stepwell in Ahmedabad and will no doubt have a range of emotions swirling as they head into Sunday’s showdown.
While the day itself promises to be an awesome spectacle, the true essence of the event lies in the cricketing prowess that both teams bring to the pitch.
India, unbeaten in all ten matches, has been a revelation in this tournament. With Virat Kohli leading the run charts and Mohammed Shami as the leading wicket-taker, the team's performance has been nothing short of incredible.
However, what sets this Indian side apart is the influence of captain Rohit Sharma. Since the T20 World Cup semi-final defeat in Adelaide against England last year, Rohit has spearheaded a shift in the team's batting approach.
No longer content with merely accumulating runs, India now embrace an intimidating, aggressive style of play under his leadership.
Rohit's personal transformation is evident in his strike rate, soaring from a career average of 102 to an impressive 124 in this World Cup. The question now is whether India can maintain this mindset and apply the same methodology in the final.
Australia, a team with a rich history of five World Cup victories and eight final appearances, entered the tournament with a stumble, facing two early losses.
However, as we have seen time and time again, how you start is not as important as how you finish. Winning eight consecutive matches Pat Cummins and his team have done this and are now on the home straight.
Overcoming challenges like the absence of key players – Glenn Maxwell due to concussion and Mitch Marsh for personal reasons – showcased their resilience.
As the only team capable of halting India's unbeaten streak, Australia's ability to perform under pressure is their hallmark. Their well-drilled team, developed across all three formats, exudes a belief and confidence unique to their cricketing culture.
Emotions will run high on the final day, with Australia embracing the underdog label and India carrying the weight of 1.3 billion fans on their shoulders.
Australia's sense of opportunity, fuelled by their proven ability to perform under pressure, makes them formidable opponents.
India, having harnessed the support of their fans throughout the tournament, face the challenge of converting that energy into performance without succumbing to the pressure.
As the players take the field, the culmination of hard work, dedication and sacrifice will unfold. The final is not just a match, it's an opportunity to create a lasting legacy, a moment that will inspire generations of cricketers and fans worldwide.
May the best team seize this historic opportunity and leave an indelible mark on the rich tapestry of cricketing history.
Pic Courtesy by: ICC*