Australia beats host India at Cricket World Cup final

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Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 - Final - India v Australia - Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad, India - November 19, 2023 Australia's David Warner in action REUTERS/Amit Dave

A billion Indians are grappling with disappointment as the national cricket team suffered a defeat against Australia in the World Cup final on Sunday.

Australia, now six-time World Cup champions, secured victory by six wickets with seven overs remaining. In the semi-final, the team triumphed over South Africa, while India overcame New Zealand to advance to the final.

After an incredible run in the tournament with 10 straight wins, this was India’s one and only loss was suffered in the final.

The match unfolded in the expansive Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, the largest stadium globally, drawing over 100,000 passionate fans. The stadium was a sea of blue as supporters donned team jerseys to rally behind their favourite players.

Even those unable to be in Ahmedabad tuned in from their homes, hoping for an Indian triumph. The heartbreaking loss shattered the aspirations of millions, especially given that India last clinched the World Cup in 2011.

Social media platforms, including X (formerly Twitter), witnessed an outpouring of disappointment from thousands of fans expressing their sorrow over India’s defeat. Comments like “Heartbreak continues for India” and “this hurts more than anything” echoed the sentiments of many.

Prominent figures from India’s entertainment and sports industry took to X to acknowledge the Indian cricket team’s exceptional performance throughout the World Cup and to offer support after the loss. Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, present at the stadium, reassured the team, stating, “It’s a sport, and there are always a bad day or two. Unfortunately, it happened today, but thank you Team India for making us so proud of our sporting legacy in cricket.”

Olympic medalist Abhinav Bindra congratulated the Australian team on their victory and expressed solidarity with Team India, commending their skill, spirit, and sportsmanship.

Amid the disappointment, many fans expressed optimism about India’s future in cricket, with comments like “India’s World Cup journey might have hit a speed bump, but remember, even the greatest stories have their unexpected chapters. This is just a plot twist, not the end.”

In the final, Australia won the toss, electing to bowl first. The Australian pacers proved formidable, bowling out India for 240 runs, marking the first instance in the tournament where the Indian side lost all 10 wickets. India’s bowling attack, led by Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, put up a commendable fight, dismissing three of Australia’s top batters in the initial seven overs. However, Australia’s resilient batting partnership ultimately secured their victory with six wickets to spare.

Prime Minister Modi visited the emotional Indian team in the dressing room afterwards to help lift their spirits and took to X to express his support “Dear Team India, Your talent and determination through the World Cup was noteworthy. You’ve played with great spirit and brought immense pride to the nation. We stand with you today and always.”

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