New Delhi: Last Night, one man who truly stood like a concrete wall between team India and their hopes for the third ODI World Cup Trophy was Adilade-born Australian cricketer Travis Head.
After the men in yellow went three wickets down on a small total of 47 while chasing 241 on a tricky pitch, 1.30 Lakh Indian fans in the Narendra Modi Stadium went crazy and began to cheer out loud for Rohit and Co.
Everyone was more than sure that just like in the league stage of the tournament, the Indian bowling unit would dominate the opposition and effortlessly defend the small total of 240 runs to make India the world champions for the third time.
However, Travis emerged as a hero for the 5-time world champions as he played a career-defining innings of 137 (120 balls) and made sure the baggy green repeated what they did to India 20 years ago in the finals of the 2003 World Cup.
Although Marnus Labushange also accompanied Travis by building a crucial partnership of 192 runs with him, it won’t be wrong to say that Head Single-handedly shattered the World Cup dreams of billions of Indian fans and once again asserted the dominance of baggy green in the knockout stages of the ICC events.
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As Head’s heroic innings slowly progressed and took his side closer to victory, the World’s largest stadium went into pin-drop silence mode and fans started to leave the stadium soon after.
Finally, the winning runs for the Aussie men came from Glenn Maxwell’s bat and with that, Australia shattred India’s dream and became the 6-time world champion by winning the match with 6 wickets to spare.
With the Australian team celebrating their historical triumph in World Cup 2023, let’s know more about the hero ‘Head’ who made it possible for them by breaking billions of Indian hearts for the second time.
Not the first time
Notably, this is not the first time this Aussie Batman has brought tears to the eyes of Indian cricket fans. Back in July, when India was pitted against Australia in the finals of the World Test Championship 2023, Head scored an aggressive century (163 off 174 balls) with a strike rate of 93.68 which snatched the game from India’s hands in the first innings itself.
Travis Head’s rise to glory
Head started playing for Australia 7 years back in 2016 when he became a part of their ODI and T20 team. 2 years later, he also got himself selected in Baggy Green’s test squad and made his debut in the red ball format of the game against Pakistan.
So far, he has played 20 T20s, 63 One Day internationals, and 42 test matches in which he has scored 460, 2256, and 2904 respectively for the mighty Australian team.
Travis Head in World Cup 2023
Although the cricketer was not a part of Australia’s playing 11 in the first 3 games of the ICC 2023 World Cup, he was selected to play against New Zealand in Dharamshala. In the game, Head proved his might and slammed a quick ton against that completely dismantled the Kiwi bowling lineup.
Following that, Head never looked back and also went on to become Australia’s savior in a tough semi-final clash against South Africa in Eden Gardens.
In the low-scoring thriller, Head lived up to his name and provided a head start to his team by smashing an aggressive half-century (62 off 48 balls) that proved to be one of the biggest factors behind Australia’s victory against the proteas in the semi’s of the tournament.
Besides showcasing exceptional skills with the bat, the crickter also claimed two important wickets in that game which pushed the team in green and gold on the backfoot from the initial stage of the game itself.
Travis joins the elite list of World Cup final heroes
In the high-octane clash against unbeaten India in the finals of Cricket World Cup 2023, the cricketer played the innings of his life 137 (120), and helped the men in yellow comfortably lift their 6th World Cup title by defeating India with 6 wickets.
His heroics not only earned him the title of man of the match but also made him a part of the elite list of star cricketers who smashed a ton in the finals of the ICC ODI Cricket World Cup.
Interestingly, he is only the second Australian batsman to achieve this feat after veteran Batsman Ricky Pointing who also broke India’s World Cup hopes by smashing a match-winning knock of 140 runs (121 balls) in World Cup’s 2003 edition
Besides Travis, a number of former cricketing legends from different nations like Rickey Pointing, Clive Lloyd, Vivian Richards, Aravinda de Silva, Adam Gilchrist, and Mahela Jayawardene are also a part of this prestine list.