The 2023 Cricket World Cup is finally close to its finishing line as both India and Australia are set to face each other in the final at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, on Sunday. The hosts are the only unbeaten team in this tournament, and have completely outplayed all their opponents in every department possible. Meanwhile, Pat Cummins and Co. began their campaign with two defeats and were written off early. But they bounced back in style and have been unbeaten since then.
The Aussies lost to India in their opener and then were thrashed by South Africa in their second fixture. They got revenge against the Proteas in the semi-final. On the other hand, India defeated New Zealand in their semi-final fixture, a side they lost to in the 2019 World Cup semis.
Ahead of the final, fans have once again begun to indulge in the Virat Kohli vs Steve Smith debate. But only one of them has been in top form, meanwhile the other has been silent throughout the tournament. Kohli is on top of the run chart with 711 runs in 10 matches packed with three tons and six half-centuries. He overtook Sachin Tendulkar as the batter with the most ODI centuries in India’s semi-final and will be looking to make an impact once again. Kohli is also a 2011 ODI World Cup winner, when the team consisted of the likes of MS Dhoni and Tendulkar.
Meanwhile, Smith has only got 298 runs in this World Cup. Speaking on Wide World of Sports, former Australia cricketer Ian Chappell joined the bandwagon and gave his verdict on the Kohli vs Smith debate. “No, we haven’t. (on Smith’s best form). Let’s go back to Kohli first. He doesn’t anymore but there was a point in his career where he averaged over 50 in all three formats. Now, that’s remarkable performance. I think Kohli is probably the best batsman of this era. I like his attitude. I heard him interviewed about batting and I think’s he’s got a terrific approach to batting. The other thing to look at is his fitness. He is 36-years of age, have a look at how he was running between the wickets. He is obviously put fitness right up there,” he said.
“Steve Smith, he is an important man in this Australian side, even though he hasn’t played his best. He plays spin better than anyone in the team and that might be really important in the final. Steve Smith tries to play his own way and that is important, but to me one of the crucial guys for Australia will be David Warner at the top,” he further added.
This is also the second-time both sides are meeting in a World Cup, having met in the 2003 title clash too, where a Ricky Ponting-led Australia defeated Sourav Ganguly’s India.