Australia’s pursuit of the target faced early hiccups, sliding to 47/3 despite maintaining a commendable run-rate. Mohammed Shami, handed the new ball for the first time in the World Cup, made an immediate impact by dismissing David Warner with his second delivery, caught at slip. Jasprit Bumrah, after conceding 15 runs in his initial over, staged a comeback, claiming Mitchell Marsh’s wicket with a catch behind and outsmarting Steven Smith with a deceptive slower ball.
Smith’s decision not to review the dismissal suggested signs of nervousness in the Australian chase. Replays later revealed that the ball had struck him outside off, reflecting the intense pressure and strategic battles unfolding in the high-stakes match. The early stutter in the innings added an element of suspense to the contest, keeping fans on the edge of their seats.
Travis Head and the disciplined Marnus Labuschagne orchestrated a remarkable turnaround, steadily relieving the pressure with a formidable 192-run partnership. Faced with a slow surface that offered little assistance to the spinners, the duo adhered to their strategy of rebuilding through a blend of defensive resilience and calculated aggression. The effectiveness of India’s spinners waned as Head confidently slog-swept Kuldeep Yadav for a six, while Ravindra Jadeja found himself consistently milked.
Remarkably, the final marked the sole instance in this World Cup where India’s spinners failed to claim a wicket, with the sluggishness of the pitch neutralizing their usual threat. Head and Labuschagne’s strategic mastery not only shifted the momentum but also exposed a vulnerability in India’s second line of attack, solidifying Australia’s control over the crucial encounter.
In a bid to shake things up, India made a strategic move by altering the batting order, promoting Ravindra Jadeja. However, Australia’s bowlers maintained their discipline, denying the boundaries that India desperately needed. Despite KL Rahul’s efforts in holding one end, and him reaching a half-century, there was no grand finish to cap off the innings this time. Australia further complicated matters by introducing reverse swing, adding an additional layer of challenge for the Indian batsmen.
Josh Hazlewood utilized a round-the-wicket approach to dismiss Jadeja, inducing a nick behind the stumps. Simultaneously, Mitchell Starc replicated the success from a different angle, extracting a defiant Rahul. The inability to generate scoring momentum and the effectiveness of Australia’s bowling arsenal ultimately left India grappling with a formidable challenge in the