In an intense and gripping competition, the World Test Championship Final 2023 saw Australia emerge victorious over India, claiming their first-ever title in this prestigious tournament. The battle between these two cricketing powerhouses was both thrilling and dramatic, with several noteworthy performances adding to the excitement.
Day 1: Australia Dominates Batting
The opening day of the World Test Championship Final 2023 witnessed Australia putting on a dominant display in batting. Travis Head and Steven Smith contributed significantly with scores of 163 and 121, respectively. India’s bowling attack, led by Mohammed Siraj, who claimed four wickets, tried to stem the flow of runs, but Australia ended the day with a formidable total of 469.
Day 2: India’s Fightback
India, not to be outdone, began their fightback on the second day of the championship. Skipper Ajinkya Rahane led from the front with an impressive 89, while Shardul Thakur added a valuable half-century (51) to the total. Australia’s bowling unit, spearheaded by Pat Cummins, who took three wickets, kept the pressure on India. Despite their efforts, India could only muster 296 runs, trailing Australia by 173.
Day 3: Australia Consolidates Lead
On the third day, Australia sought to consolidate their lead and set a challenging target for India. Alex Carey’s vital 66-run knock, along with useful contributions from the lower order, helped Australia declare their second innings at 270 for 8. Ravindra Jadeja was India’s pick of the bowlers, claiming three wickets for 58 runs. This set India a daunting target of 444 runs to win the championship.
Day 4: India’s Glimmer of Hope
Entering the fourth day, India was determined to give it their best shot, displaying the tenacity that had made them the top-ranked Test side since the inception of the World Test Championship. The pitch seemed to have become less responsive to bowlers, providing a glimmer of hope for India as they began their quest for an improbable victory.
Day 5: Scott Boland’s Match-Winning Performance
The final day began with India requiring 280 runs, with seven wickets in hand. The partnership between Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane had already added 71 runs, setting the stage for a potential upset. However, Australia’s Scott Boland had other plans. He put on a match-winning performance, dismissing both Kohli and Jadeja in a single over, effectively turning the tide in Australia’s favor.
Despite losing crucial partners, Rahane refused to give up without a fight. He added 33 runs with KS Bharat for the sixth wicket, displaying immense grit and determination. Unfortunately for India, Rahane’s resistance was eventually broken when he played a loose drive off Mitchell Starc’s delivery, resulting in his dismissal.
With Rahane’s departure, India’s hopes began to fade. Shardul Thakur was trapped lbw by Nathan Lyon, while Umesh Yadav was dismissed by a short ball from Starc. Lyon wrapped up the match by taking the final two wickets, ending India’s innings at 234 and sealing Australia’s victory by 209 runs.
Australia’s ICC Title Collection
This historic win marks Australia’s ninth ICC title, making them the only team to have won each of the major trophies: five ODI World Cups, two ODI Champions Trophies, one T20 World Cup, and now the World Test Championship.
India’s Record Against Australia
Despite the loss in the final, India has enjoyed a successful run against Australia in recent years, winning four consecutive Test series between the two nations (two in India and two in Australia). However, in the challenging English conditions, Australia proved to be the superior side in the World Test Championship Final 2023.
Looking Ahead: The Ashes
Following their victory in the World Test Championship Final 2023, Australia will now shift their focus to the upcoming Ashes series against England. The contest promises to be yet another thrilling encounter between two of cricket’s oldest rivals.
The World Test Championship Final 2023 provided a fitting end to an incredible tournament, where Australia displayed their might and prowess to claim their maiden title. While India’s valiant effort fell short, they demonstrated why they are a force to be reckoned with in the world of Test cricket. As the dust settles on this memorable championship, cricket fans across the globe eagerly await the next edition of the World Test Championship and the exciting contests it promises to bring.