When Australia emerged victorious in a relatively one-sided match at the Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad on November 19, Pat Cummins referred to the achievement as the “pinnacle of international cricket.” India was restricted to 240 runs by their relentless performance with the ball, but Travis Head’s magnificent century enabled Australia chases down the target in 43 overs and win the men’s edition trophy for the sixth time.
“That’s huge, I think that’s the pinnacle of international cricket, winning a one-day World Cup. Especially over here in India, in front of a crowd like this. Yeah, that’s huge. Yeah, it’s been a big year for everyone, but our cricket team has been here in India, Ashes, World Test Championship and to top it off with this is just huge and these are the moments that you’ll remember for the rest of your life,” said Cummins at the post-match press conference.
“It’s just every international team comes together. You only get a shot at it every four years. Even if you have a ten-year career, you might only get two chances at it. And yeah, it’s just the whole cricket world stops with this World Cup. So, it doesn’t get any better.”
Australia has had a prosperous year, having won the ODI World Cup and the World Test Championship by defeating India and retaining the Ashes in England, respectively. And when queried about the zenith, Cummins promptly reaffirmed that it was their World Cup triumph.
“This is, no doubt,” said Cummins. “The World Test Championship was huge like again another two-year campaign – but yet an ODI World Cup – it’s the rich history I think and to come out of a place like India where you know the conditions are so different to back home, it’s pretty grueling, 11 games in whatever it was, 5 – 6 weeks, but yeah, the way the group stuck together and got through it and yeah holding the medal is – that’s the pinnacle.”
Before the match, Cummins expressed his desire for the enormous audience at the stadium to be silenced, and Australia’s clinical performance more than fulfilled that expectation. With the exception of Rohit Sharma’s aggressive initiation with the bat and India’s initial assaults with the ball, the approximately 92,000 spectators present at the venue endured the majority of the match in a state of astonished silence.
“I always like to say I’m pretty relaxed but I was a little bit nervous this morning you know just pacing around waiting for it to get started just seeing the sea of blue in the hotel, getting nearer the ground and seeing the sea of blue, walking, making its way to the ground, all the cars parked with their selfie cameras out, you kind of knew you were walking into something pretty special. And then to walk out for the toss and just see 130,000 blue Indian shirts, it’s an experience you’ll never forget. Awesome day and the good thing where they weren’t too noisy for most of it,” noted Cummins.
The spectators were particularly taken aback when Virat Kohli, who had scored fifty and appeared to have more to offer, played a delivery from Cummins onto the stumps. “At one point during the huddle, we did pause to acknowledge the calm that had descended upon the audience. “That (getting him out) was gratifying, because it felt like it was one of those days where everything came together for him to score another hundred as he normally does,” the Australia captain agreed.
Australia has been led by Cummins for a considerable period of time. He discussed how the players have embraced the team’s requirements, resulting in instances of great satisfaction on the field.
“It’s probably for others to judge that but yeah, couldn’t be prouder of the team for the last few years. We’ve had some tough series but we’ve won some amazing series as well and everyone stood up and we feel like we’ve got a great red ball team and the white ball team has won two trophies in the last few years so it’s, yeah, things are looking pretty rosy.
“It’s really tough because you’re playing against the best teams in the world and every team wants to achieve the same thing. It’s really tough. I always keep saying about our team, we’ve got a lot of experience and we’ve got many different characters which is great, you want that in a team. But everyone buys in. Everyone does what the team needs. Everyone’s there to look after each other. And I think that’s something that’s contributed to a few of our successes over the years,” Cummins said.