Fast bowler Prasidh Krishna called up in his place after Pandya missed India’s past three games with ankle injury.

On Sunday, India will be in a state of excitement as Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli’s cricket team, aiming for their fifth championship, clashes with Australia in the Cricket World Cup final. The match will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium, the world’s largest cricket venue with a seating capacity of 132,000. This stadium, inaugurated in 2015, was specifically built to host the tournament final after eight years. In this process, it will likely establish a record for the highest attendance in a World Cup cricket presence.

India’s vice-captain, Hardik Pandya, who was part of the playing eleven but suffered an injury during the match against Bangladesh, shared a heartwarming message before the title clash between India and Australia. Posting a video, he said, “We are one victory away from that glory we dreamt of as kids. It’s years of hard work—lifting the cup is not just for us; it’s for millions. I am always with you. Let’s bring the cup home.”

The history of past knockout encounters between both sides adds to the anticipation—having faced each other twice in crucial matches. Australia, on their path to a fifth title, defeated India in the 2015 World Cup semifinal in Sydney. In 2011, Yuvraj Singh’s heroic half-century assisted the home team in defeating Australia in the quarterfinals in Ahmedabad.

Watch the message Hardik Pandya said to Team India

The last time teams faced off in a championship match was in the 2003 final in Johannesburg. Captain Ricky Ponting’s unbeaten 140 runs led Australia to a victory of 125 runs, scoring 359-2, while India accepted defeat with 234-9.

Rohit Sharma, once again, will aim to challenge Australia’s captain Pat Cummins and their bowling companions. Sharma particularly favors short deliveries and has hit the most sixes in this tournament, a total of 28.

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Australia, having lost their first two matches against India and South Africa, found themselves at the bottom of the standings without points on October 15. Since then, Warner, Mitchell Marsh (with 426 runs in nine matches), and Adam Zampa (22 wickets) have been the pillars of their revival.

After winning the semifinal against South Africa, Australia’s fast bowler Mitchell Starc stated, “We play this game to compete with the best.” He added, “India has been the best in the tournament so far, and we are both in the final. We played against them in the first game of the tournament, and now we have to face them in the last game. Let’s see what happens at the end of the World Cup.”

The anticipation for this clash between cricket powerhouses has reached a fever pitch, with fans eagerly awaiting the showdown between the seasoned Australian squad and the formidable Indian team led by Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. The Narendra Modi Stadium is set to witness history, with millions glued to their screens as the teams vie for cricketing glory.

The atmosphere is charged with nostalgia as memories of past encounters linger. The cricketing world holds its breath, wondering if this final will be etched into the annals of history alongside the unforgettable moments of tournaments gone by. Both teams have demonstrated resilience, turning the tide in their favor after initial setbacks, making this final a testament to the unpredictable and thrilling nature of the sport.

As the players take the field, the hopes and dreams of millions ride on their shoulders. Hardik Pandya’s message resonates, emphasizing that this victory transcends individual achievements—it is a collective dream of a nation. The cricketing gods look down on this colossal clash, eager to witness whether Australia will secure their fifth title or if India will script their cricketing saga with a fifth championship. The stage is set, the players are ready, and the world awaits the outcome of this epic battle under the floodlights of the Narendra Modi Stadium.

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