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Preview: Cricket World Cup Final: India vs. Australia - prediction, team news, series so far

Sports Mole previews the 2023 Cricket World final between India and Australia, scheduled to be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday.

After an incredible two months of captivating entertainment, only two sides remain as India prepare to take on Australia in the 2023 Cricket World Cup final at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday.

In front of what is expected to be a sold-out crowd of 132,000 fans in Gujarat, India will be hoping to claim cricket's premier trophy for the third time in their history, while Australia will be in search of a record-extending sixth title.

Match preview

India's Virat Kohli celebrates after reaching his 50th century, breaking Sachin Tendulkar's record of most number of ODI centuries on November 15, 2023© Reuters

India were sensational during the group stages and finished at the top of the pile with 18 points in their nine games and announced themselves as the side to bet in the tournament early on.

The Men in Blue claimed their 10th consecutive victory in the midweek semi-final over New Zealand, when Virat Kohli surpassed the great Sachin Tendulkar's record of 49 centuries by recording his 50th ODI ton, helping his side to a huge total.

Shreyas Iyer was in fine form as well and also notched up a century with the bat, while Mohammed Shami tore through the Black Caps batting lineup, claiming an incredible seven wickets.

India will now be making an appearance in the ICC ODI World Cup final for the first time since 2011, when they went on to lift the trophy by beating Sri Lanka at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Aside from just the big prize on offer, this match offers the Indians an opportunity to get their revenge on this opponent, having lost to them in the ICC World Test Championship at the Oval earlier this year.

Australia celebrate victory over South Africa at Cricket World Cup on November 16, 2023.© Reuters

Meanwhile, after a very poor start to their 2023 CWC campaign, which included back-to-back losses in their first two matches of the tournament, Australia came storming back to win seven in a row and book their place in the final four.

That haul earned them 14 points, leaving them in third place in the group standings, four points behind India and level on points with South Africa, although the Proteas did post a better net run rate.

However, that mattered little as the two sides went into the semi-final during the week with a clean slate, but South Africa's knockout-stage struggles surfaced once again, and the Aussies did not need a second invitation to move into the ascendancy.

A brisk innings of 62 runs at the top of the order from Travis Head put the Baggy Greens ahead of the required run rate, and despite the Proteas' best efforts, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc saw their side over the line by three wickets.

The Aussies triumph in that encounter now sets up a rematch of the 2003 final, which they won convincingly in Johannesburg, but they are the clear underdogs this time, with most bookmakers making the Men in Blue the odds-on favourites to claim the title.

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Team News

India during victory over New Zealand in Cricket World Cup semi-final on November 15, 2023.© Reuters

India boast three of the top seven run-scorers in the 2023 Cricket World Cup, with Kohli amassing 711 runs in 10 innings with an average of 101.57, while Rohit Sharma and Iyer have also been in prolific form.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya was gutted when he was ruled out of the competition after injuring his ankle before the knockout stages, though the introduction of Shami has proven to be a masterstroke as the paceman currently leads the leading wicket-takers standings.

For the Aussies, David Warner and Mitchell Marsh have been pivotal in Australia's run-scoring department during this tournament, with Warner accumulating 528 runs in 10 innings and Marsh notching up 426 in nine.

The comeback of opener Travis Head from injury has also provided Australia with additional batting depth, resulting in Marsh being positioned at three in the batting order, with Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell in the middle order.

Australia's main wicket-taker in this competition has been leg-spinner Adam Zampa, who held the top wicket-taker position overall for an extended period before being surpassed by Shami in the semi-finals.

India squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishan Kishan, Prasidh Krishna, Suryakumar Yadav

Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith, Alex Carey, Josh Inglis, Sean Abbott, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitch Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Starc

Series so far


Match One: India won by 6 wickets
Australia - 199 (49.3)
India - 201/4 (41.2)

Match Two: India won by 8 wickets
Afghanistan - 272/8 (50)
India - 273/2 (35)

Match Three: India won by 7 wickets
Pakistan - 191 (42.5)
India - 192/3 (30.3)

Match Four: India won by 7 wickets
Bangladesh - 256/8 (50)
India - 261/3 (41.3)

Match Five: India won by 4 wickets
New Zealand - 273 (50)
India - 274/6 (48)

Match Six: India won by 100 runs
India - 229/9 (50)
England - 129 (34.5)

Match Seven: India won by 302 runs
India - 357/8 (50
Sri Lanka - 55 (19.2)

Match Eight: India won by 243 runs
India - 326/5 (50)
South Africa - 83 (27.1)

Match Nine: India won by 160 runs
India - 410/4 (50)
Netherlands - 250 (47.5)

Semi-final 1: India won by 70 runs
India - 397/4 (50)
New Zealand - 327 (48.5)


Match One: Australia lost by 6 wickets
Australia - 199 (49.3)
India - 201/4 (41.2)

Match Two: Australia lost by 134 runs
South Africa - 311/7 (50)
Australia - 177 (40.5)

Match Three: Australia won by 5 wickets
Sri Lanka - 209 (43.3)
Australia - 215/5 (35.2)

Match Four: Australia won by 62 runs
Australia - 367/9 (50)
Pakistan - 305 (45.2)

Match Five: Australia won by 309 runs
Australia - 399/8 (50)
Netherlands - 90 (21)

Match Six: Australia won by 5 runs
Australia - 388 (49.2)
New Zealand - 383/9 (50)

Match Seven: Australia won by 33 runs
Australia - 286 (49.3)
England - 253 (48.1)

Match Eight: Australia won by 3 wickets
Afghanistan - 291/5 (50)
Australia - 293/7 (46.5)

Match Nine: Australia won by 8 wickets
Bangladesh - 306/8 (50)
Australia - 307/2 (44.4)

Semi-final 2: Australia won by 3 wickets
South Africa - 212 (49.4)
Australia - 215/7 (47.2)

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We say: India to win

Australia have been here seven times in the past, and having claimed the title on five occasions, it is fair to say that they know how to get the job done on the biggest stage of them all. However, it is impossible to overlook just how dominant India have been in this competition as they have used the familiar conditions expertly and never really looked in any danger of being beaten in their 10 matches up to this point.

It is fitting that the two best ODI sides in the world have made it to the final, and while we are anticipating an almighty battle, we feel that the host nation will be the one to take the top step of the podium when all is said and done.

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India during victory over New Zealand in Cricket World Cup semi-final on November 15, 2023.
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