Your ultimate guide ahead of a blockbuster World Cup final in Ahmedabad
Australia v India: All you need to know
After 45 days and 47 matches, the 2023 ODI World Cup comes down to this: India v Australia. The hosts are riding a wave of momentum with an unbeaten record and the backing of one billion people. Australia, meanwhile, will happily embrace the underdog tag, a label they rarely carry any more.
Who: India v Australia
What: 2023 ODI Men's World Cup final
When: Sunday November 19. Coin toss at 7:00pm AEDT, first ball at 7:30pm AEDT (2:00pm local)
Where: Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad
How to watch: Fox Cricket, Kayo Sports and Nine
Officials: Richard Illingworth and Richard Kettleborough (standing), Joel Wilson (third), Chris Gaffaney (fourth)
Live scores: Match Centre
Highlights, news and reactions after the match: cricket.com.au, the CA Live app, the Unplayable Podcast.
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
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna
Australia have had to juggle a mixture of absent players, injuries and personal leave amongst their squad during the tournament but have the full quota to choose from for the final on Sunday.
India lost their vice-captain Hardik Pandya to a left ankle injury and was replaced in their squad by fast bowler Prasidh Krishna. The mid-tournament withdrawal from the star allrounder hasn't hurt India's chances however, with almost the entire XI finding form at the right time.
The road to the final
Captain Pat Cummins admits he did contemplate the thought of an early exit when Australia found themselves sitting at 0-2 in 10th position on the World Cup standings and Sri Lanka had raced to 0-125 against them in their third match in Lucknow.
But things drastically improved following first up losses to India and South Africa, with improved displays in batting, bowling and especially fielding. Comfortable wins against Sri Lanka and Pakistan steadied the ship before a big win over the Netherlands in Delhi got the net run rate back on track too. New Zealand and England both made Australia work hard for the two points and Afghanistan would have defeated the Aussies if not for one of the all-time great innings from Glenn Maxwell.
Spinner Adam Zampa finished the group stage with the most wickets (22) while Cummins, Mitch Starc and Josh Hazlewood all grabbed double-figures wickets in support. David Warner broke through the 500-run barrier for consecutive tournaments while Mitch Marsh, Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne have been reliable contributors with the bat too.
After their opening match scare against Australia, it's been largely smooth sailing for the host nation. India brushed aside the likes of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Netherlands and Sri Lanka as expected and even completed a thumping 243-run win over South Africa in Kolkata.
New Zealand pushed them all the way in a four-wicket win in Dharamsala, and even England's effort to keep them to 9-229 looked decent before the England batters crumbled. India's crushing victory over Pakistan in Ahmedabad was close to a perfect game for the team in blue and stamped their position as the team to beat early in the competition.
Star No.3 Virat Kohli has broken the record for the most runs in a single World Cup tournament (711) and he's been brilliantly supported by basically the entire batting line up, led by Rohit Sharma (550), Shreyas Iyer (526) and KL Rahul (386).
On the bowling front it's been complete domination from their quicks and spinners – bulk wickets to Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah have been accompanied by devastating spells from the ever-present Ravindra Jadeja.
Australia played at the enormous Narendra Modi Stadium when they defeated England by 66 runs here just a couple of weeks ago. India too had a match here earlier in the tournament, when they knocked off Pakistan in front of a packed house near the beginning of the campaign.
Three of the four World Cup matches here were won by the chasing side, with the only exception being Australia's ability to defend 282 against England. Spin has been very effective in restricting the runs but the bulk of the wickets have come from pace – four-wicket hauls to Gerald Coetzee and Chris Woakes were the best individual performances. In general, run scoring here has been on the lower end compared to other venues at this tournament, with big boundaries a factor. Pat Cummins saw the pitch on match eve, revealing later that the surface to be used was the same one used for the India-Pakistan match over a month ago, on October 14.
Rain simply won't be a factor as the stadium is located in the notoriously dry western state of Gujarat, but scorching day-time temperatures and evening outfield dew will likely come into play.
What happens if it's washed out?
Thankfully there's a reserve day scheduled in the unlikely scenario that bad weather ruins the contest on Sunday.
And what about a tie?
It's super over time!
The one over per side decider will be used if scores finish level, with an unlimited amount of subsequent super overs to be played if the ties keep coming. We could be due one too, as we're yet to see super over this tournament and five of the six previous editions of the World Cup all contained one tied game.
Possible Starting XIs
Australia: David Warner, Travis Head, Mitch Marsh, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Inglis (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Mitch Starc, Pat Cummins (c), Josh Hazlewood, Adam Zampa
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj
Will we see any changes to the semi-final Xis that got these sides here? Injuries aside, it's unlikely. India played three spinners in the Chennai match at the start of the World Cup, with Ravichandran Ashwin selected over Mohammed Shami in that particular match. But even in the expected spin-friendly conditions it's hard to see India dropping any of their quicks.
Past 10 matches, most recent first. W: win, L: loss, N: no result
After a slow start that saw them on the bottom of the World Cup table after two matches, Australia have hit form with eight consecutive victories that has propelled them into the final. Their quicks have had a tough tournament as a whole but will be buoyed by an excellent performance in favourable conditions in the semi-final. Australia's last defeat was back in Lucknow on October 12 against South Africa.
The perfect 10 wins in a row to this point in the tournament for India, which began with their six-wicket win over Australia in Chennai on October 8. They've been on a dominant run since then, with New Zealand (four-wicket victory) the only other side to give them a scare. Their most recent loss in the format was to Australia in the third ODI between the sides just before the World Cup, with the Aussies winnings by 66 runs in Rajkot. India's first five victories came batting second and their next five came batting first, showing they are equally adept at setting a total or chasing.
What does the winner get?
Not only will the World Cup winners get to lift the iconic golden 'cricket ball' globe trophy tonight but they will also walk away with a cool US$4 million (A$6.15m). It's the same amount that England took home for winning the last World Cup in 2019 following a nail-biting Super Over at Lord's.
The total prize pool for the event is US$10m with the runners-up receiving US$2m (A$3m). South Africa and New Zealand, as the two losing semi-finalists, each pocketed US$800,000, while the six teams eliminated after the group stage collected US$100,000. The winners of each of the 45 group stage matches collected $40,000 for their troubles. If India, the only team that's undefeated at this World Cup, could collect the maximum possible prize of US$4.36m if they prevail tonight. An Australian win would mean the Aussie squad would receive US$4.28m (A$6.58 million).
World Cup Standings
Last time they met
By the time the first ball is bowled on Sunday it will be exactly seven weeks since the previous Australia-India matchup that opened both sides' World Cup campaigns. Pat Cummins won the toss and chose to bat first on a dusty Chennai pitch and India were immediately into the game with Mitch Marsh gone for a duck. Beyond David Warner (41) and Steve Smith (46) none of the Aussie batters could get going on a pitch that was getting lower and slower by the over. Ravindra Jadeja finished with 3-28 as Australia were bowled out for 199 in the 50th over. In reply it was an electric start with the ball – Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer were all dismissed for ducks as India fell to 3-2 in the second over. But it was a 165-run stand between Virat Kohli (85) and KL Rahul (97no) that completely flipped the fortunes of both sides; the hosts getting to the target with over eight overs to spare.
Overall: Australia (83 wins), India (57 wins), 10 no results
Past 10 years: Australia (17 wins), India (17 wins), one no result
At World Cups: Australia (eight wins), India (five wins)
In World Cup finals: Australia one win (2003 final)
Most runs: Sachin Tendulkar (3077), Rohit Sharma (2332), Virat Kohli (2313), Ricky Ponting (2164)
Most wickets: Brett Lee (55), Kapil Dev (45), Mitchell Johnson (43), Steve Waugh (43)
- India have won two of the three World Cup finals they have contested – their only loss came to Australia in 2003.
- A win for Australia would be their sixth ODI World Cup; the next-most successful teams are India and West Indies (two titles each).
- Virat Kohli (1741) needs three runs to move past Ricky Ponting (1743) into second spot on the all-time World Cup run-scorers list, behind only Sachin Tendulkar (2278).
- India have a bowling average of 20.2 at the 2023 World Cup, the lowest bowling average for a team in a single tournament since South Africa averaged 17.9 in 2011.
- Adam Zampa has 22 wickets, the most by an Australian spinner in a single men's World Cup campaign. He needs one more to match the all-time spinning record, set by Muttiah Muralidaran (23) in 2007.
- Josh Hazlewood has an excellent record against Virat Kohli in ODIs; he's dismissed the India star five times in eight innings for the cost of only 51 runs.
- Mohammed Shami has had a dominant campaign with 23 wickets but especially so against left-handers, averaging a ridiculous 4.00 against southpaw batters.
Where to next?
Even after all the cricket these two have played against each other this year (eight ODIs and four Tests), it's not over. With focus turning to the 2024 T20 World Cup immediately following Sunday's final, the two sides will contest a five-match T20 series in India beginning on Thursday.
2023 ODI World Cup Finals
First semi-final: India beat New Zealand by 70 runs
Second semi-final: Australia beat South Africa by three wickets