ODI World Cup final: India vs Australia preview, pitch report, weather and playing XI
An Indian captain ready to create a legacy of his own will have 10 ruthless professionals and a billion cricket maniacs for support when his team takes on five-time champions Australia in a winner-takes-it-all World Cup final on what promises to be a 'Super Sunday'.
Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin know the feeling of winning the ODI World Cup and Rohit Sharma himself was in the thick of things at the 'Bull Ring' in Johannesburg when India won their maiden T20 World Cup in 2007.
When Kapil Dev's toothy grin at the Lord's balcony melted fans' hearts in 1983, it was the beginning and no one knew which direction the road ahead will lead us to.
When Dhoni hit that winning six in 2011 World Cup final, it was more about a final reiteration that the Mecca of Cricket' has shifted long back and everyone needed to take a bow and accept Indian domination.
Circa 2023, Indian cricket team will not just be looking to win a third ODI global title but also look at saving the '50-over format' which has been battling identity crisis for at least five years now.
An Indian victory will give the format the injection it needs.
Australia is the only team to have achieved title triumph with 11 wins in a row - in 2003 and 2007 - and Rohit indeed has a date with history since if the team gets the win on Sunday, it will only be the second side ever side to do so.
India vs Australia World Cup final weather forecast
The weather forecast is clear and sunny with no chance of rain. Temperatures are expected to be around 33°C and 20°C. The humidity will be high at 39 per cent. The wind will blow from the south and south-west at 7 km/hr. The humidity will increase as the match proceeds.
India vs Australia World Cup final pitch report
The pitch has been the centre of attention in the build-up to the knockouts. There was, and is, talk about used and not fresh pitches being used for the semifinals. There is no official word yet on the pitch for the final. The strip to be used is made of black soil, and is expected to be a slow turner. But, it is highly unlikely to affect the Indian bowling combination.
The Australia skipper came to have a look at the 22-yard-strip, and clicked pictures to possibly check and compare how much the track's look will change from Saturday morning to afternoon and subsequently on the match-day afternoon.
ICC's pitch consultant Andy Atkinson paid a visit and was around for an hour as BCCI's curators monitored the last day touch up before it is handed over to match referee Andy Pycroft.
India vs Australia World Cup final dew factor
The GCA ground-staff were seen using anti-dew spray in the afternoon as the last 20-25 overs of the match are always affected by late evening dew. If Australia bat second, keeping dew factor in mind, Cummins indicated that batting order could be tweaked a bit.
India vs Australia World Cup final probable playing XIs
Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, K.L. Rahul (vc and wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.
David Warner, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Josh Inglis (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood.
(With PTI inputs)