Saturday , June 22 2024

A billion Indians hope for cricket World Cup glory


Bureau Report + Agencies

NEW DELHI/ AHMEDABAD: Hosts India are taking on Australia in the World Cup final today.

The match will be played in Ahmedabad city at the Narendra Modi stadium, the world’s largest cricket venue.

India beat New Zealand by 70 runs in Wednesday’s semi-final; Australia defeated South Africa by three wickets in a tense game on Thursday.

India have been in top form, winning all the 10 games they’ve played so far.

Australia started off slow, but came into form as the tournament progressed.

Australia are seeking the crown for the sixth time; India have won the trophy twice before.

With the stakes so high, fans are not leaving anything to chance. Across the country, many are offering special prayers for the team’s victory, seeking some divine help.

It’s going to be a contest between two well balanced sides. India’s fierce bowling squad, which includes Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Kuldeep Yadav and Mohammad Siraj, will face in-form Australian batters like David Warner, Steve Smith and Mitchell Marsh but the visitors will again be betting big on Glen Maxwell, who single-handedly won the match against Afghanistan and helped Australia reach the finals.

Australia’s bowling attack is led by captain Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and spinner Adam Zampa. The hosts will look to neutralise the Australian attack with in-form captain Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill leading the batting department. Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav are also in peak form. With the two sides having so much quality, it’s most likely going to be a high-octane game.

On Sunday, all eyes will be on Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad, the venue of the World Cup final clash.

Spread across 63 acres and with a field size of 180X150 yards, the stadium is named after India’s prime minister. It can seat 132,000 people – that’s 42,000 more than Melbourne Cricket Ground, the world’s second biggest which can accommodate 90,000 spectators but it’s not just the size that makes the Ahmedabad stadium unique. It is also the ground where several historic records have been set. It was here that Sunil Gavaskar scored 10,000 runs in 1986-87 to become the highest run-scorer in Test cricket. It was also here that Kapil Dev took his 432nd wicket to become the highest wicket taker in Test cricket.

Will Sunday’s match provide the stadium with more historic moments to add to its hall of fame?

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