India v Australia - 3rd ODI
CHENNAI, INDIA - MARCH 22: Steven Smith of Australia gestures during game three of the One Day International series between India and Australia at MA Chidambaram Stadium, on March 22, 2023 in Chennai, India. (Photo by Pankaj Nangia/Getty Images)
India v Australia - 3rd ODI

After a shaky start in the group stage that included consecutive defeats to India and South Africa, the Aussies won seven consecutive games to advance to the knockout phase. 

They extended their emphatic winning streak even further and avenged their earlier loss to South Africa by securing a three-wicket victory in the semi-final.

Australia's pacers excelled with the new ball, dismantling the top-order of the Proteas. Thanks to a stellar century from David Miller, South Africa posted 212 runs.

David Warner and Travis Head provided a typical attacking start for Australia, putting them in the lead before South African spinners levelled matters.

However, the Australians successfully navigated through to secure a victory that paved the way for a showdown with India in Ahmedabad.

Australia were the betting underdogs for the mouth-watering showpiece event against the formidable hosts, who had a ten-match winning streak leading up to the showdown.

The stars appeared to be aligning for the all-conquering India side, who were ranked as 5/2 shots for the title by online bookmakers before the tournament started.

The most popular betting apps in Australia rated the Baggy Greens as 9/2 third favourites and they rose to the occasion, delivering a historic performance in Ahmedabad.

Australia withstood vociferous support from a predominantly Indian fanbase at the world's largest cricket stadium to claim victory and a secure winning return for punters who wagered on them.

They delivered a near-perfect performance, with captain Pat Cummins opting to bowl first against India's talent-packed batting line-up after winning the toss.

India equalled the record for a World Cup final with 80 runs in the first powerplay, but Australia's experienced unit piled on the pressure with the ball.

They picked up crucial wickets at key moments, with the fielding effort matching the bowlers' high standards.

Chasing a target of 241 on a difficult surface, Australia faced an early challenge with three wickets falling in the first seven overs.

However, the team's composure under pressure shone through, with Head's exceptional century and Marnus Labuschagne's composed half-century guiding them to victory.

Opener Head hit a phenomenal 137 off 120 balls to ease Australian nerves after a top-order wobble before they marched to victory, with the 29-year-old emerging as the Player of the Match (POTM).

Head enjoyed an astonishing tournament, delivering a POTM performance against the Indians in the World Test Championship final in June before repeating the feat on the grandest stage.

He also emerged POTM from the semi-final against South Africa, spurring Andrew McDonald's side to victory by three wickets.

Australia have a long-standing reputation for producing on the big stage, and beating India in front of nearly 100,000 spectators on their own turf to secure a first title since 2015 further emphasised those assertions.

Captain Cummins, who raised a few eyebrows in his pre-match press conference after expressing a desire to silence the sea of Indian fans at the Narendra Modi Stadium, was rightly beaming following his side's performance to win the World Cup.

“We saved our best for last and a couple of big-match players stood up – we're pretty chuffed,” Cummins said. “We've been batting first for pretty much the whole tournament. Today we thought it was a good night to chase down, and we thought it might get a little bit easier.

“The pitch was a bit slower than we thought. It didn't really spin either, and I thought everyone adjusted really well and bowled some tight lines. We were really chuffed with 240 [for India], but we thought we could chase anything up to 300.

“The passion in India is unrivalled around the world. It's pretty special when you look around, and everyone is wearing the blue shirt – no matter what happened we were never going tozero wick forget a day like today.”