WTC Final 2023: Australia scripted history as they grimaced India’s hope for the win, and lifted their 9th ICC Title in the 2nd edition of the ICC World Test Championship final on Sunday (June 11). Australia’s win goes down as one of the most domineering victories in the finals of an ICC tournament, the foundation of which had been laid by the Australian batters from day 1 at the Oval. Australia after declaring their 2nd innings for 270/8 posed a daunting target of 444 runs for the Indian team.
India, which had so far always been on the back foot in the whole game, began to show signs of grit to win the mace went all offensive when Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma came to the crease for the final innings. The duo gave a start that India needed desperately to cut down the target and eventually chase victory.
Some beautiful drives and other range of shots made India’s win look more probable from the usual speculation of improbable. Shubman Gill and the skipper batted serenely, but Australia was better off with luck on Day 4 if not with the bat as Scott Boland drew them the first blood resulting in Gill’s hardest of luck. He eventually had to go back after the 3rd umpire declared him out for just 18 runs.
Soon to depart was the skipper who looked flamboyant and determined to sail the ship as one captain would do. He stitched 51 runs with Cheteshwar Pujara before falling leg-before wicket to Nathan Lyon who took the Indian skipper down for the 3rd time this year alone for 43 runs.
India was still in a promising position all into the game with stakes on the brink. Scores after Day 4 was 164/3 with Kohli and Rahane on the crease for further pursuit.
Day 5 and India’s Another Batting Fallout
India started the final day rather more positively with Kohli and Rahane looking to take on the rusty-looking Australian bowling. The likes of Starc, and Pat Cummins looked ordinary as Day 4. However, the destruction came from Scott Boland who proved lethal for the Indian batting lineup. He dismissed Kohli (49) for the day’s first wicket and set the tone for the rest. Next to fall was Ravindra Jadeja (0) who went back for a duck to the courtesy of Boland.
The Indian batting was again cursed with a domino trap, as soon, all the batters began to fall like cradles while the chase became impossible. Rahane got out to Starc’s delivery for 46 runs and missed his fifty by 4 runs. The rest of the wickets were shared among Nathan Lyon (4/41) and Mitchell Starc (2/77) on Day 5, while Boland himself finished with 3/46 in Australia’s maiden ICC WTC title.
Australia ousted India from the Mace race by 209 runs. The win would boost Pat Cummins’ side ahead of the much-awaited Ashes 2023 series that begins on June 16.
WTC Final 2023 Highlights:
Brief scores: Australia 469 (Travis Head 163, Steve Smith 121; Mohammed Siraj 4-108) & 270/8 declared (Alex Carey 66, Mitchell Starc 41; Ravindra Jadeja 3-58) beat India 296 (Ajinkya Rahane 89, Shardul Thakur 51; Pat Cummins 3-83) & 234 (Virat Kohli 49, Ajinkya Rahane 46; Nathan Lyon 4-41) by 209 runs.