When Australia face India in the 2023 ICC World Cup final on Sunday (19 November), they will not only be fighting toe to toe with the eleven Indian players, but will also be dealing with over 100,000 Indian fans, who will pack Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium to the brim. For their skipper Pat Cummins, however, it works as an additional motivation, as his team are aiming to silence the gigantic crowd.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the match, Cummins revealed his feelings about battling against India with a partisan crowd wishing to see Australia crumble, stating he is looking forward to ‘embracing’ it.
“You have got to embrace it. The crowd is obviously going to be very one-sided, but in sports, there is nothing more satisfying than hearing a big crowd go silent. That's the aim for us tomorrow,” Cummins said.
The pacer further elaborated on how Australia have different personalities to deal with the crowd in contrasting ways, with David Warner – a crowd-favourite in India – often showcasing his dance skills, while others opting to concentrate on the cricket.
We play over here in India a lot, so the noise is not something new. On this scale, it's probably bigger than we would have experienced before, but it's not something totally foreign to what we've had before. Everyone deals with it slightly differently. Davey (David Warner) will be probably dancing and winning the crowd over, other guys will be just staying in their own bubble.Pat Cummins
Australia Wary of the Mohammed Shami Challenge
Albeit history will be inclined towards Australia, for the five-time champions have bragging rights in this particular competition, India will be starting the match as favourites owing to their scintillating form. On being asked about which Indian cricketer is likely to pose a major threat to the Aussies, Cummins mentioned the tournament’s leading wicket-taker, Mohammed Shami’s name.
They are all pretty well-rounded in all departments (but) the one guy who didn't play at the start of the tournament and has done really well is obviously Mohammed Shami. He is a class bowler to right and left-armers. He's going to be a big one (to tackle).Pat Cummins
“They have got five guys that bowl ten overs in pretty much every match. Their spinners have done well through the middle overs – Kuldeep and Jadeja – so they're going to be a tough proposition like they always are,” he further added.
Cummins Shrugs off Pitch Controversy
India’s semi-final triumph over New Zealand was shrouded in controversy, owing to a last-minute pitch alteration requested by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Cummins, however, chose not to pay any heed to conspiracy theories about the pitch, stating the surface would be the same for both teams.
The pitch is obviously the same for both teams. No doubt playing on your own wicket, in your own country, has some advantages. It is similar to wickets that you have been playing your whole life. But we've played a lot of cricket over here. Of all the venues, perhaps on this venue, the toss isn't as important as, say, Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. So, we’ll be ready in terms of anything they'll throw at us.Pat Cummins
'Dew Factor Is Something to Think About'
Three of the four league stage matches at the Narendra Modi Stadium were won by chasing teams, with dew often offering the batters assistance during the evening.
Explaining whether his team will be wary of the dew factor, Cummins opined “The biggest difference (in playing conditions) is the dew. This city and venue seems to have more dew than a lot of the other places we play. That's something to think about ahead of tomorrow. It might only come at the last quarter of the game, but once the dew settles in and the ball is sliding on, it's quite different from the first 20 overs, where the ball might be swinging. It is something to consider.”