There was no open bus parade or any public celebration. More than a week after winning their sixth ODI World Cup, Cricket Australia held a small ceremony to display the trophy in the presence of captain Pat Cummins and fellow pacer Mitchell Starc at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday.
The Australians have been revelling in their success which also included winning the World Test Championship and retaining the Ashes in England.
But defeating India in the final will rank among their top victories. One of the biggest talking points was Australia’s decision to field first on a dry used pitch in Ahmedabad.
Cummins admitted it was a risk that could have backfired if India had put a towering total on the board but felt it was the best way forward.
“It could be easy for me, and the coaching staff, to take the easy option. We kept doubling down on wanting to be aggressive, wanting to be brave, take some risks and fortunately they paid off. We thought we needed to take those risks to have any chance, so really proud not only with the results, but also taking those risks in the first place,” Cummins said.
Starc was all praise for his leader. “I think he’s been phenomenal, the last two months have spoken to that. He’s certainly had his critics and people have their own opinions that it has to be done a certain way and Pat’s never been phased by that although I’m sure he’s at times felt it internally but he doesn’t portray that to the wider group.” said Starc.
“We have a lot of confidence out on the field with him (Cummins) running the show,” Starc said. “Whilst I’m not the most receptive to chat at the top of my mark as am sure he’ll attest to, it’s all listened to and the fact the three (along with Josh Hazlewood) of us have grown up together it’s taken the right way.
“A lot of this has a lot to do with the way Pat captained through the World Cup, especially that last game which is spoken about a lot. Whether it’s the courage to do things differently or see the game differently or chop and change bowling spells to one over and we stand here with the trophy. Thoroughly enjoyed playing under Pat.”
Seven members from Australia’s ODI World Cup squad stayed back after the final for the T20I series. But six of the seven players will not feature in the Raipur and Bangalore matches.
Adam Zampa and Steve Smith have already flown back home. Four other players — Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Josh Inglis and Sean Abbott — will return after Tuesday’s match.
Josh Phillippe and big-hitter Ben McDermott have already joined the Australian squad. Ben Dwarshuis and Chris Green will join the squad in Raipur ahead of the fourth match.
Written with PTI inputs