New Delhi: Australia’s legendary fast-bowler Brett Lee believes India were definitely the favourites to win the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup trophy, but Australia’s tenacity helped them pull off a victory and take their sixth 50-over title in men’s international cricket.
India were the pre-tournament favourites and won 10 straight matches in familiar conditions in the competition. But their unbeaten run came to an end when they lost to Australia by six wickets in Sunday’s final at Ahmedabad. India were bowled out for 240 after being put in to bat first, which Australia chased down in 43 overs, thanks to a superb 120-ball 137 from Travis Head.
“If you look back on statistics and what has happened in this campaign, India should have won. India should have won the tournament with their men on paper, with their current form leading into the final.”
“India were definitely favourites, 100 per cent favourites, but it’s that old Aussie mentality to never ever give up and that goes a long way in big tournaments. There were a lot of people that wrote the Aussies off saying they weren’t a chance, they did get off to a slow start.”
“But they proved once again last night that with that tenacity, dedication and self-belief amongst the team that you can actually pull anything off. They actually dominated right from ball one,” said Lee to foxsports.com.au.
Australia’s campaign was off to a bad start after losing to India and South Africa in the league stage. But they bounced back with a win over Sri Lanka, which began their run of winning nine straight games to claim the World Cup title.
Lee, a member of the 2003 World Cup winning side, also credited Australia’s stunning performance in the final to captain Pat Cummins’ calmness and ability to keep the team together after losing their first two games.
“The captaincy from Pat Cummins to harness all that energy and belief within the team, we know what would have happened in that team meeting before going out on the field yesterday.”
“He would have said ‘all right guys, let’s just breathe, take this moment in and enjoy the 130,000 people, we may never get this moment again’. To me, it would have been that calmness that Pat Cummins would have been put over his players because they weren’t looking good after the first two games. They got off to a shocker, but once again with some belief and talent they have lifted the World Cup,” he concluded.