Thursday, June 20, 2024

Men’s ODI WC: 2015 World Cup was a career highlight; can’t wait for the final against India, says Cummins

On reaching the final of 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup, where they will face India, Australia captain Pat Cummins recalled that winning the 2015 edition of the tournament was a career highlight and he cannot wait to face-off against the hosts at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday.

Australia have set-up a title clash with India on Sunday after beating South Africa by three wickets in a tense semi-final at the Eden Gardens on Thursday. The five-time champions have marched into their eighth Men’s ODI World Cup final happening on Sunday, which is also a re-match of the 2003 World Cup finale against India.

“The good thing is a few of us have been there for finals before. Got to embrace it, the stadium is going to be packed, pretty one-sided but got to embrace it. The 2015 World Cup was a career highlight, so to be out there in a final in India, can’t wait,” said Cummins in the post-match presentation ceremony.

Travis Head top-scored with 62, before Steven Smith (30), Josh Inglis (28), Mitchell Starc (16 not out) and captain Pat Cummins (14 not out) thwarted the valiant challenge from South Africa to help Australia march into the final.

Cummins and Mitchell Starc took three wickets each, but the latter and Josh Hazlewood set the base for keeping South Africa to 212 by reducing them to 22/4 in 11.5 overs, where Australia also backed up the bowlers with impressive fielding.

“Easier than sitting in the dugout. Nerve-wracking couple of hours but great effort and a great game. We thought it would spin quite a bit. Wasn’t expecting Starcy and Josh to bowl so much early. Bit gloomy, swinging around so wasn’t too upset (on losing the toss). Something we talk a lot about (on good fielding).

“Wasn’t up to scratch at the start of the tournament. Davey, 37, diving around, incredible. And the big two up front were incredible. (Head)Has this knack of finding a wicket. Been different bowlers chip in through the whole tournament. (Inglis) Played that beautifully. He looked in control against two really good spinners on a tough wicket,” he said.

Head was named Player of the Match for his knock of 62 and getting Heinrich Klaasen plus Marco Jansen out on successive deliveries. “Hard to unpack all of that. Tense finish, an amazing game. We knew how it was going to play. Having had three or four days here, you go to bed and think about it. The wickets have been unbelievable, haven’t seen much spin but we knew it was going to be a grind,” said Head.

Head missed the initial phase of the tournament due to a fractured hand and is now making an impact for Australia. “Thought I wasn’t going to be here, just want to contribute for Australia. (Klaasen dismissal) Straight as they come. I was under the pump, not sure how it got through. Seeing the wicket, was prepared to bowl a few overs. Always keen.

“We’ve had that positive approach, trying to get ahead of the rate (with the bat). Disappointed to get out how I did, that’s the match-up for me but it wasn’t to be. Unbelievable attack (of India). Never dreamed of being in a World Cup final against the team of the competition so far,” he added.



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