Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], November 20 : Two-time World Cup winner Shane Watson lavished praise on Australia captain Pat Cummins after their World Cup triumph over hosts India in Ahmedabad.
Pat Cummins-led team put up a shining performance to beat India in the final, completing a remarkable run of nine straight victories in the tournament held across different venues in the country. With the win, Australia's men added the sixth ICC Cricket World Cup crown to their trophy cabinet.
Despite winning the World Test Championship Final and successfully retaining the Ashes in England, Cummins faced a few questions following two early losses at the start of the tournament.
With India getting a quick start with the bat in front of a huge crowd inside the Narendra Modi Stadium cheering them, an unflustered Australia held their nerve and put the Indian team on the defensive.
Cummins kept his calm in the heat of battle and made smart, intelligent bowling changes. The Australian team appeared to have a plan for every batter and executed it and capped the performance with sharp fielding. Cummins finished his spell with figures of 2/34.
"The decisions he made today [Sunday], his tactics were absolutely spot on. His ability to be able to galvanise his team and whatever they did to turn things around after that second game, the coach, the support staff and Pat Cummins in the leadership group of the Australian team, whatever they did, they really turned it around and turned it on," Watson said on the latest episode of The ICC Review podcast.
"To be able to then just work through it, and you could see there definitely was a shift after the second game just from his own performance, you'd see there's a little bit of extra intensity in him after that. He's not an experienced captain, even coming into this World Cup, he'd only captained Australia in one day in a handful of occasions," he added.
Chasing 241, Travis Head opened the batting and, after surviving a difficult early phase against an intimidating fast bowling attack, finished with 137 (120). Head was named Player of the Match for his achievements.
Watson lauded the opening batter's ability and skills.
"There's no question that he's a high-risk, high-reward batter. He takes the game on. Once he finds his groove, as we saw after probably about 50 or 60 runs, then he was just in overdrive. And then he was just really in, whenever he wanted to hit the ball to the boundary he did," Watson noted.
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