Josh Hazlewood vs Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma vs Mitchell Starc: Five battles to watch out in final

n Indian captain ready to create a legacy of his own will have 10 ruthless professionals and a billion cricket maniacs for support when his team takes on five-time champions Australia in a winner-takes-it-all World Cup final on what promises to be a ‘Super Sunday’.

Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin know the feeling of winning the ODI World Cup and Rohit Sharma himself was in the thick of things at the ‘Bull Ring’ in Johannesburg when India won their maiden T20 World Cup in 2007.

But the final on Sunday will be completely different. It won’t just be a mere cricket tournament that needs to be won but also caring about the emotions of all those invested in the game.

Virat Kohli, fresh off a record 50th One Day International ton, has a massive negative match-up to counter in the World Cup final in Ahmedabad. In 88 balls against Hazlewood in ODIs, Kohli has been dismissed five times, including once in the league match between these teams at this World Cup.

When Shaheen Afridi trapped Rohit Sharma in front for a golden duck in the first over two years back at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, not many were surprised.

In his ODI career, Rohit has been dismissed 33 times by left-arm pace, and 22 of those have come within the first 10 overs. One of those came this World Cup at the Wankhede when Dilshan Madushanka sneaked one past his bat to shatter the stumps.

Glenn Maxwell vs Kuldeep Yadav

133/4 was the score when Glenn Maxwell walked in to bat at the Eden Gardens in the semi-final clash against the Proteas.

He was beaten first up by Tabraiz Shamsi with a quicker delivery and lasted only five balls in all, attempting a wild, across-the-line hoick, only to be cleaned up by the South African wrist spinner.

On a similar turner against India in Chennai, Maxwell fell in the exact same fashion to Kuldeep Yadav, another left-arm wrist spinner.

Steve Smith vs Ravindra Jadeja

One of the highlights of the riveting Border-Gavaskar Trophy series at home earlier in the year was the battle between Jadeja and Smith.

In a pivotal moment in the first Test in Nagpur, Jadeja deceived Smith completely, forcing him to play outside the line and making a mess of his stumps. Jadeja would go on to dismiss Smith two more times in the series and once more in the ICC World Test Championship final in England.

Mohammed Shami vs David Warner

Is there a way to stop Mohammed Shami this World Cup?

Well, if there is, it will have to be conjured up by the Aussies in the biggest stage of all – the World Cup final, at a venue that has become very familiar over two IPL seasons with what Shami can do in short-ball formats.

Against left-handers, in particular, Shami is a massive threat. In 52 balls this tournament, Shami has dismissed left-handers eight times, averaging a mind-blowing 4.00 against them.

*With agency inputs

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Updated: 18 Nov 2023, 04:21 PM IST

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