Travis Head sure caught it when he ran back from the cover, dived, and held on to send the Indian captain Rohit Sharma back in the 10th over in the 2023 final. Glenn Maxwell knew what that moment meant, and he didn’t hide it. In an otherwise situation, it might just have been Rohit doing what he does best – making the most of the powerplay.
But a World Cup final is a situation like no other. And Australia, especially when it is a World Cup final, is an opposition like no other. What if he had held himself back for that ball? What if he had just played five more overs?
Permutation, combination, and utter disintegration of the opposition.
Haven’t the men from Down Under always been such know-alls of the cricket world! Just ask South Africa, their opposition from the penultimate match. Or the Indian squad from 2003. For, this one also brought back the feeling of ‘all is lost’.
The feeling that a whole nation was familiar with – whenever Sachin Tendulkar walked back to the pavilion early (happened in 2003 final too).
Pat Cummins might have saved the 1.4 billion a collective sigh when he won the toss but chose to bowl. The infallible batting of the Men in Blue, the likes of Sharma and Virat Kohli being feared in the bowling circles, no less – capable of winning it all single-handedly, the sheer perfection of the team in the tournament so far… Everything seemed to be pointing at a Sunday party.
Sport, after all, needs its adjectives – tear-jerker, edge-of-the-seat, nailbiting, et al.
And, Cummins was just too eager for his “there’s nothing more satisfying than hearing a big crowd go silent”. It seemed there was nothing he could do wrong this day.