Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 02 December 2023 3.14 PM IST

Let memories of this wound impart strength


Australia have clinched their sixth ODI World Cup title after making India shed tears on Indian soil. India, which won all ten games before reaching the final, was not able to overcome the last hurdle. The Aussies, who had lost to India and South Africa in the first two matches of the group stage, came back strongly to march into the knockout stage and eventually became the world champions. They also settled their scores with South Africa in the semis and India in the finals.

The foundation of Australia's victory is that they were able to bring their experience and proud professional tradition to the field at the right time. While the Indian players struggled to overcome the pressure of playing the World Cup final at home, the Aussies played with confidence as if they had nothing to lose. The Australians, who put pressure on the Indian players with their body language, excelled in bowling, fielding and batting alike. Having lost the final of the World Test Championship to the same opponents five months ago, India once again proved that it has to improve a lot to win crucial matches.

Although Australia played a complete team game, the performance of all-rounder Travis Head needs special mention. His diving catch to dismiss Rohit Sharma was reminiscent of Kapil Dev's famous catch in the 1983 World Cup. He also bowled two overs giving away just four runs. Later in the day, Head scored a magnificent 137 runs from 120 balls before being dismissed just two runs short of victory. Head, who only played six matches in this World Cup, scored two centuries and a half-century. He performed well in games where the team needed it the most. Head's century in the group match against New Zealand and half-century in the semi-final against South Africa were game-changing.

The double century smashed by another all-rounder Glenn Maxwell against Afghanistan while the team was struggling to chase down 292 runs is also a bright chapter in Australia's World Cup success. Had they lost that match, the Aussies probably wouldn't have made it to the semis. The dedication and creative leadership of captain Pat Cummins, along with the efforts of Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, David Warner, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc, should be appreciated. At the heart of Australia's success is Cummins' courage to leave the cash-rich IPL to focus on the World Test Championship final and the ODI World Cup.

Although they lost in the final, the effort put in by the Indian players in this World Cup will not go unappreciated. It was the extraordinary performances of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Jadeja and Siraj that took India to the finals undefeated. In sports, winning and losing are not the final word. Yesterday's losers are today's winners. A better tomorrow awaits those who lose today. It is easy to say that failures should be faced with a smile. Defeats will cause wounds in the mind. There are no wounds that time is unable to heal. But the scars will remain. The strength to leap to victory in the next battle must be drawn from those scars. More matches are waiting for Rohit and his team. Let the painful memories of this wound turn into fuel for an upcoming world triumph.

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