Pat Cummins urges Australia to ’embrace’ World Cup final pressure against India

By Sports Desk November 18, 2023

Australia captain Pat Cummins is hoping to silence over 100,000 India fans as his side take on the all-conquering hosts in a tantalising World Cup final.

India have beaten all comers on home soil over the past seven weeks, cheered on by passionate local support in every city they have visited.

The Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, the biggest cricket ground on the planet, will be teeming with blue shirts on Sunday and they will all be barracking for the same result.

When Pakistan played India at the same venue earlier in the competition, their team director Mickey Arthur pointed out that the lack of away fans meant “it didn’t seem like an ICC event, it seemed like a BCCI event” but Cummins insists Australia must not be daunted by the numbers game.

Instead, he wants them to savour the opportunity of ruining the partisan atmosphere.

“I think you’ve got to embrace it. The crowd’s obviously going to be very one-sided but in sport there’s nothing more satisfying than hearing a big crowd go silent and that’s the aim for us tomorrow,” he said.

“Every part of a final, even in the lead-up, there’s going to be noise and more people and interest and you just can’t get overwhelmed. You’ve got to be up for it, you’ve got to love it and just know whatever happens it’s fine. You just want to finish the day with no regrets.

“We play over here in India a lot so the noise is not something new. I think on this scale it’s probably bigger than we would have experienced before but it’s not something totally foreign to what we’ve had before. Everyone deals with it slightly differently, you’ll see Davey [Warner] probably dancing and winning the crowd over and other guys just staying in their own bubble, but it should be good.”

While India’s host status and irresistible run of results – 10 straight wins including a straightforward six-wicket success over Australia at the start of the group stage on October 8 – makes them favourites, their opponents boast the better pedigree.

Australia are five-time winners of the biggest prize in the one-day game, thrashing India by 134 runs when they met in the 2003 final in Johannesburg, and Cummins is one of several survivors from the triumphant 2015 team.

“We were all kids not too long ago, watching some of those great teams win the 1999, 2003, 2007 World Cups and that’s the opportunity ahead of us tomorrow, which is really exciting,” he said.

“To be captain would be an absolute privilege to lift the trophy with these great bunch of blokes. It’d be awesome and in terms of the pinnacle, I think it is right up there. It’s got the longest history of a world event where all the teams compete and you only get a shot at it every four years.

“So even if you have a long career, you might only play in two of these events – 2015 is still a career highlight for me, so I think tomorrow if we win, that might pip it.”

Australia have no injury concerns in their 15-man squad and could go in unchanged following their tight semi-final win over South Africa. All-rounder Marcus Stoinis could come into consideration as an extra bowling option, with Marnus Labuschagne the only specialist batter looking over his shoulder.

Related items

  • Livingstone says England have grown into World Cup ahead of India clash Livingstone says England have grown into World Cup ahead of India clash

    Liam Livingstone is hopeful England are coming good at the perfect time ahead of their T20 World Cup semi-final against India, having grown into the tournament after a slow start.

    The defending champions almost succumbed to a humiliating group-stage exit, with only old rivals Australia keeping them in with a dramatic victory over Scotland.

    Having finished second in Group B, Jos Buttler's team did likewise in Group 2 at the Super-8 stage, a resounding victory over the United States sending them through at West Indies' expense. 

    England now have a chance to reach their fourth T20 World Cup final and their third in the last four editions, while a third triumph at the tournament would take them clear of the Windies for the outright record. 

    All-rounder Livingstone says England have a chance to prove tournaments are not about how you start, but how you finish. 

    "In tournament cricket, sometimes it is better to sneak up and nick it at the end," said Livingstone. "Hopefully that is the way we will go. 

    "A lot of lads have been contributing in the last few games which should stand us in good stead going forward. We've hopefully got two more massive games."

    Livingstone sustained a torso injury while batting against Namibia in the group stage but has shrugged that problem off to play all of England's matches.

    He has yet to truly hit top form, taking two wickets and scoring 13 and 33 in his two innings with the bat in the middle order, but he is confident a big finish is coming.

    "As a kid I always wanted to be involved, that's the reason I started bowling a few years back," he said.

    "So batting at seven and maybe bowling one over, that's where the hard bit comes as you want to be involved.

    "Thankfully the last two games I struck the ball well against South Africa and bowled pretty well [against the USA], so I feel I'm in a good place."

  • Rashid: T20 World Cup semi-final berth a "dream" for Afghanistan Rashid: T20 World Cup semi-final berth a "dream" for Afghanistan

    Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan hopes the team's "dream" run to the T20 World Cup semi-finals will serve as inspiration to young people across the country.

    Afghanistan will face South Africa in their first World Cup semi-final on Wednesday after edging out Australia to escape the Super 8s with an eight-run win over Bangladesh.

    This is Afghanistan's seventh participation at the T20 World Cup, with the first three all ending in the group stage before they reached the Super 10s in 2016 and the Super 12s in 2021 and 2022.

    Speaking after finishing with figures of 4-23 in Monday's dramatic, rain-affected win over Bangladesh, Rashid said: "I think the semi-final is going to be a massive, massive inspiration for the youngsters back home in Afghanistan. 

    "We have done it at under-19 level, but at this level we haven't done that. Even the Super 8s was the first time for us. It's an unbelievable feeling. 

    "It's like a dream for us. It's all about the way we had started the tournament. The belief came when we beat New Zealand [in the second group match].

    "I don't have any words to describe my feelings. Definitely back home everyone is so, so happy about this."

    While Afghanistan will go into the semi-finals as underdogs, Rashid sees no reason why they cannot go even further.

    "We are capable, as long we keep things very simple, and I think in the whole competition so far we kept things simple," he said. 

    "There were some tough times but we didn't let ourselves down and we always tried to come back stronger."

  • Afghanistan win topsy-turvy Bangladesh clash to eliminate Australia from World Cup Afghanistan win topsy-turvy Bangladesh clash to eliminate Australia from World Cup

    Afghanistan reached the T20 World Cup semi-finals for the first time and eliminated Australia from the tournament with a dramatic eight-run win over Bangladesh.

    Afghanistan entered the final game of the Super 8s requiring a victory to join England, India and South Africa in the last four, while Bangladesh themselves could still qualify via net run-rate with a handsome win.

    Both Bangladesh and Australia might have been positive regarding their prospects when Afghanistan reached just 115 in their innings.

    Even Rahmanullah Gurbaz's 43 came off 55 balls as they made slow progress, before the opener handed Soumya Sarkar a simple catch off a 17th-over delivery from Rishad Hossain, who impressed with figures of 3-26.

    It was the Bangladesh innings that brought the drama, though. 

    Repeated rain stoppages meant they were left chasing a series of revised targets, and the losses of Najmul Hossain Shanto (5) and Shakib Al Hasan on back-to-back third-over balls, the latter for a golden duck, made their chances of qualification unlikely.

    However, they could still send Australia through with any victory, and opener Litton Das did his best to do so, making an unbeaten 54 as wickets tumbled around him.

    With Bangladesh nine runs from victory but with just one wicket remaining in the 18th over, it was Naveen-ul-Haq who sealed Afghanistan's place in the last four.

    He joined captain Rashid Khan on four dismissals by trapping Mustafizur Rahman lbw, ensuring Afghanistan will face South Africa in a historic semi-final in Trinidad on Thursday.

    Data Debrief: Farooqi earns a slice of history

    While Afghanistan captain Khan (4-23) and Naveen (4-26) hogged the headlines on a historic day for the team, team-mate Fazalhaq Farooqi also had an outing to remember. He trapped Tanzid Hasan lbw for the first wicket of the Bangladesh innings, his 16th wicket at this year's tournament.

    That drew him level with Sri Lanka's PW Hasaranga (in 2022) for the most wickets in a single edition of the T20 World Cup, and he will look to take the record outright against South Africa later this week.

     

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.