We analyse the 2023 Cricket World Cup final with our India vs Australia prediction and preview.
Both of the semi-finals in this year’s men’s Cricket World Cup saw dominant first innings performances that ultimately took the game beyond reach for the losers. India’s merciless batting display, which was anchored by a record breaking century from Virat Kohli (117), saw the hosts score 93 more runs (397/4) than we predicted as they elevated their win probability from 57% to 91%.
In the other semi, Australia’s bowling performance in the first innings was the difference, with South Africa at one stage reeling on 24/4 before David Miller (101) rescued some faint hopes. However, despite Miller’s heroics, the Proteas’ chances of winning still plummeted from 42% pre match to 11% at the innings break.
Both New Zealand and South Africa fought hard to rescue a victory, but they’d left themselves too big a mountain to climb and old rivals India and Australia set up a mouth-watering finale to the 2023 men’s Cricket World Cup.
Amazingly, this will be the eighth men’s ODI between India and Australia in 2023; India have won four of those clashes (L3), including a six-wicket victory when they met earlier in this tournament.
The two sides have a long history in the men’s ODI World Cup. In recent clashes it is India who have held the upper hand, having won three of their last four matches against Australia in the competition, including each of their last two.
Australia are a different beast at this stage of proceedings though, trophy tunnel-vision is firmly engaged. They have won five ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup finals (L2), three more than any other team and they have won each of the last four times they’ve reached the final.
Meanwhile, India have won two of their three men’s ODI World Cup finals (L1), including a six-wicket victory in their most recent appearance (2011 vs Sri Lanka); although, their one defeat in that span came in their only such fixture against Australia (23 March 2003).
The Indian juggernaut is going to be hard to stop as the hosts aim for a first title in 12 years, but the Aussies have the firepower and the craftiness to do just that if they can keep their heads.
Route to the Final
- Beat Australia by 6 wickets
- Beat Afghanistan by 8 wickets
- Beat Pakistan by 7 wickets
- Beat Bangladesh by 7 wickets
- Beat New Zealand by 4 wickets
- Beat England by 100 runs
- Beat Sri Lanka by 302 runs
- Beat South Africa by 243 runs
- Beat Netherlands by 160 runs
- SF: Beat New Zealand by 70 runs
- Lost to India by 134 runs
- Lost to South Africa by 134 runs
- Beat Sri Lanka by 5 wickets
- Beat Pakistan by 62 runs
- Beat Netherlands by 309 runs
- Beat New Zealand by 5 runs
- Beat England by 33 runs
- Beat Afghanistan by 3 wickets
- Beat Bangladesh by 8 wickets
- SF: Beat South Africa by 3 wickets
Virat Kohli has relatively quietly had probably the best ever men’s Cricket World Cup campaign any batter has ever managed. Although he maybe hasn’t shown the fireworks that some of his teammates and indeed opponents have offered, his consistency and dependency has been otherworldly.
Across his 10 innings at this World Cup so far, he has amassed 711 runs, passing 50 eight times and pushing three of those knocks to triple figures, the last of which was his record-breaking 50th ODI ton, in which he passed the legendary Sachin Tendulkar (49). He is the first batter to ever surpass 700 runs in an edition of the men’s Cricket World Cup and his average of 101.6 exemplifies his consistency.
Kohli’s strike rate of 90.7 may seem low, and indeed of the 12 top run scorers in this competition, Rassie van der Dussen (84.5) is the only other to have a SR below 100, but in a way, that is exactly his role. If the team know they can rely on Kohli to score 100 runs, then others around him can attack more freely, as the openers have in the power play, for example.
This final will mark Kohli’s 49th ODI against Australia, a side he has scored 2,313 runs against (including eight 100s and 13 50s) at an average of 52.8. His last three knocks against the Aussies have all seen him reach 50. However, you have to go back to 2019 for his last century against them (123 in Ranchi). Adam Zampa and Josh Hazlewood have both taken his scalp five times in ODIs; only Tim Southee (7) and Ravi Rampaul (6) have dismissed him more often in the format.
Back in India’s successful 2011 World Cup final against Sri Lanka, Kohli struck 35 runs from 49 deliveries, putting on an 83-run partnership with Gautam Gambhir to steady the ship after they had lost both their openers (Virender Sehwag and Tendulkar) to leave them dangerously on 31/2. That knock almost perfectly epitomised Kohli’s versatility in adapting his approach to suit the needs of the team in any given situation. Few would bet against him steering India to another World Cup triumph.
For Australia, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell have all starred with the bat at different junctures and in very different ways. Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith have maybe under performed from their usually very high standards, but the Aussies’ wagging tail has been a life saver on more than one occasion.
Batters 8-11 for Australia have faced 402 deliveries at this World Cup. Of the other sides to make the semi finals only South Africa (259) come remotely close to that tally. In fact, the Indian tail has faced just 49 balls, something that highlights the strength of their top and middle order but also points to a potential threat if Australia’s bowlers can get into their lower order as they’ve hardly spent any time in the middle all World Cup.
Talking of bowlers, this final will be a showdown between Mohammed Shami (23) and Adam Zampa (22) for title of leading wicket taker at the 2023 men’s Cricket World Cup. Both had contrasting fortunes in the semis, Shami taking a marvellous seven-fer, while Zampa got carted around for 55 runs from his seven overs without taking a wicket.
Shami’s haul of 23 wickets has come from just 41.5 overs at an average of just 9.1 and strike rate of 10.9, both remarkable numbers. Another number that has been critical to India’s success, and indeed Shami’s capacity to bowl so aggressively, is Jasprit Bumrah’s economy rate of 3.98. He’s the only bowler to play more than one game and manage a rate below 4.1.
This game is so hard to call that our win predictor has the sides almost perfectly matched (50.6% in favour of India). India have definitely been the most consistent side of the tournament, and maybe any men’s Cricket World Cup ever, but Australia have something not many other teams do, an insatiable winning attitude and stubbornness to never know when they’re beaten. An intriguing clash of styles and mentalities, all of which will be played out in front of a raucous home crowd for India.
India vs Australia Prediction
Win prediction: India 50.6% – Australia 49.4%
Score prediction (assumes side wins toss and bats first): India – 299, Australia – 297
Top scorer prediction: India – Shubman Gill (46 runs), Australia – Travis Head (50 runs)
India vs Australia Squads
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Prasidh Krishna.
Australia: Pat Cummins (c), Sean Abbott, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa.