Australia underline big-match credentials with stunning India takedown
MELBOURNE : India dominate the business side of global cricket by virtually every metric but Australia showed commercial clout counts for little when teams battle on the game's biggest stage.
With a pitch offering little comfort for pace bowlers and terraces packed with blue-clad fans, Sunday's World Cup final could not have been better set up for the hosts to emerge unbeaten champions.
Instead, Australia, led by a Travis Head century and their brilliant trio of quicks, humbled India and their batting riches in a dominant six-wicket win that may rank the finest of their six World Cup triumphs.
Having claimed the World Test Championship in June, Pat Cummins's team have shown greatness across formats and will no doubt fancy completing a sweep of the game's biggest prizes at next year's T20 World Cup in the United States and West Indies.
Australia's 'golden era' under captains Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting, when they won three one-day World Cups in succession from 1999-2007, has cast a long shadow over the teams that followed.
But some feel Cummins's squad is at least worthy of comparison.
"They've won a T20 World Cup, they're the world test champions and now they're the World Cup winners in India," former England captain Michael Vaughan said on BBC Test Match Special.
"This group now needs to be talked about in a similar vein."
As a spectacle, the final in Ahmedabad could not hold a candle to the tied 2019 classic in which England edged New Zealand on boundary count.
Australia, however, do not do nail-biters.
Their opponents in finals are not so much beaten as remorselessly crushed by technical brilliance and consummate execution.
Since losing the 1996 final to Sri Lanka, Australia have walloped every team they have