Adam Gilchrist led the plaudits on Monday as Australia celebrated “a miracle” in winning the World Cup for a sixth time to reign over one-day cricket once again.
Pat Cummins’ men stunned the nearly 100,000 crowd in Ahmedabad on Sunday for a six-wicket victory over previously unbeaten India, breaking home hearts.
Opener Travis Head played a starring role in the final with a sparkling 137 off 120 deliveries and he also took a stunning catch to cut short skipper Rohit Sharma’s innings just short of a half-century.
Head joined Ricky Ponting and Gilchrist as the third Australian to score a century in a men’s World Cup final.
“I don’t know what I can’t believe more,” Head told reporters in Ahmedabad.
“What happened with the hundred and winning a World Cup, or taking that catch.”
Former skipper Gilchrist said the victory was among the greatest ever by an Australian sports side.
“So proud of this Australian team and crew,” Gilchrist wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
“To win another World Cup in the manner and circumstance they have is one of the finest victories in our sporting history I reckon.
“Time to celebrate,” added Gilchrist, who scored 149 not out in the 2007 World Cup final win over Sri Lanka in Barbados.
Australia have won the World Cup six times, more than any other team, adding the 2023 crown to triumphs in 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2015.
Their feat was all the more impressive this time because it came against an India team who had, until now, looked imperious and had a passionate home crowd roaring them on.
In Virat Kohli they also had the leading batsman in the tournament.
“Australia defeat India to silence 1.4 billion fans and steal another trophy,” wrote The Daily Telegraph.
– ‘Incredible upset’ –
Set a challenging 241 for victory, Australia slipped to 47-3 before Head smashed his second century of the competition to steer his team home with seven overs to spare.
Under the captaincy of Cummins, Australia added the 50-over crown to the World Test Championship title they won last June after beating India in the final in London.
“Silence golden for Cummins’ men as they go from good to great,” The Sydney Morning Herald said in a headline, referring to how the boisterous Ahmedabad crowd was stunned, especially when Cummins bowled Kohli for 54.
The Herald Sun hailed the win as “a miracle”.
“With their incredible upset, Australia has now won a record six World Cup titles -– and none has been greater than in the heat of Ahmedabad,” it said.
Cricket Australia’s chief executive Nick Hockley said the team deserved the title and it was “testament to the calibre of our players across all formats”.
“This is another wonderful achievement by Pat Cummins and his team who have performed brilliantly in testing conditions and against strong opposition throughout the tournament,” Hockley said in a statement.
“To beat the previously undefeated India before their passionate home fans is an achievement that sits comfortably alongside any of Australia’s five previous World Cup finals victories.”