Australia are peaking at right time; it’s India’s World Cup to lose: Gillespie

AHMEDABAD — Legendary fast-bowler Jason Gillespie believes Australia are peaking at the right time ahead of the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup final at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday afternoon and believes the trophy is to lose for an unbeaten Indian team.

Gillespie was a member of the 2003 Men’s ODI World Cup winning Australia team which beat India in the final at Johannesburg in South Africa. 20 years later, Australia, the five-time champions, are playing their eighth World Cup final ironically against India.

Before entering the World Cup, Australia had suffered a 3-2 ODI series defeat in South Africa, before losing a bilateral series in India 2-1. Australia began their World Cup campaign by losing their first two matches, including to India in Chennai on October 8.

But since then, the Pat Cummins-led side have been on an unbeaten eight-match winning streak. “Australia are peaking at the right time. India, whilst favourites, have all the expectation on them. They will be nervous. All the expectation is on India. It’s their World Cup to lose,” said Gillespie to IANS.

An Australian victory on Sunday would cap an astounding 2023 for Australia, who defeated India by 209 runs in the second World Test Championship final at The Oval in London in June. They would also go on to retain the Ashes after a drawn 2-2 campaign in England.

In their semi-final clash against South Africa at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata earlier this week, Starc and Hazlewood got the ball to move both ways under overcast skies and reduced South Africa to 24/4 in the first 12 overs, which would prove to be decisive in their quest to win the knockout match.

Gillespie feels Australia can repeat that performance in the title clash against India, adding that an unprecedented sixth World Cup title would be a big deal for Cummins & Co.

“This would mean the world to Australia- no one has really given Australia a chance to win this World Cup. We saw how important the first 10 overs were in the Aus v SA semi-final – Australia blew SA away and I think Australia can do that to India in the final.” — (IANS)