After 45 days of relentless and, at times, unmissable cricket, the ultimate showdown in the sport is here. Hosts India take on Australia at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad for the right to be called the champions of the world. While a cauldron-esque atmosphere and an unstoppable run of form make India favourites, not to mention a clinical win the last time these two sides met in the tournament, Australia know what it takes to prevail on the grandest stage better than anyone else. With a mouth-watering final on the cards, My Kolkata digs deep to unearth the key stats that underline what lies at stake on Sunday.
This is the second time that India and Australia will be squaring off in the World Cup final, 20 years after the Kangaroos ran the Men in Blue ragged in Johannesburg. The only other time a World Cup final was repeated was in 2007, when Australia saw off Sri Lanka to avenge their defeat from 1996.
The Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad will become the third Indian venue to host a 50-over World Cup final after Kolkata’s Eden Gardens and Mumbai’s Wankhede StadiumGetty Images
India will become the only country to have three separate cities host the World Cup final with Ahmedabad joining Kolkata (1987) and Mumbai (2011).
5 for 38
Joel Garner holds the record for the best figures in a World Cup final till date, which came in the 1979 final between the West Indies and England. The only other five-for in finals was taken four years earlier by Australia’s Gary Gilmour against the Windies, giving away 48 runs.
The number of World Cup titles India and Australia have claimed between them so far. India’s two coronations were separated by 28 years, with Kapil Dev galvanising a generation at Lord’s before Mahendra Singh Dhoni inspired another at the Wankhede. Serial winners Australia opened their honours account in Kolkata in 1987, before securing a hat-trick of titles between 1999 and 2007 and adding one more on home soil in 2015.
The number of times the team batting first has won the World Cup final. However, the last three finals have all been won by the team chasing (including in 2019, when England won on the boundary count after tying the match as well as the subsequent super over), as was the case in the 1996 and 1999 finals.
Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh celebrate as India knock Australia out of the 2011 World Cup in AhmedabadGetty Images
The head-to-head record between the two finalists in 50-over World Cups ahead of the final, with Australia leading by a margin of three victories. However, India have won three of the last four meetings, including the 2011 quarter-final in Ahmedabad.
8 & 10
Australia and India arrive at the final after recording eight and 10 consecutive wins in this World Cup, respectively. The all-time record at a single World Cup is 11, held by the Aussies themselves (2003 and 2007), but India can match that should they remain unbeaten after the clash of all clashes.
Adam Zampa needs a five-for in the final to match his teammate’s record for most wickets in a single World Cup editionGetty Images
The most number of wickets taken in a single edition of the World Cup, belonging to Mitchell Starc from four years ago. Mohammed Shami and Adam Zampa will be in contention to match or better Starc, needing four and five wickets, respectively, to get to 27 wickets at this year’s tournament.
Ricky Ponting’s blistering knock in the 2003 final remains the highest score on the grandest occasion on the grandest stage, one of six centuries in finals over the years.
Virat Kohli could become the first man to score 800 runs in a single World Cup tournament on SundayGetty Images
The number of runs scored by Virat Kohli at this year’s World Cup, the most in a single edition. Kohli surpassed Sachin Tendulkar’s tally of 673 from 2003 in the semi-final against New Zealand and could become the first player to cross the 800-run mark with another big one in the final.
Nobody seems to know the exact capacity of Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium. But it is the Eden Gardens that still holds the record for the biggest attendance in a World Cup final, having accommodated 95,000 people to watch Australia beat England in 1987, narrowly ahead of the 93,013 fans that saw Australia trump New Zealand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 2015.
The prize money awaiting the winners of the final, with the runners-up receiving $2 million.