Legendary cricketer Matthew Hayden predicted the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 winners ahead of the final between hosts India and his country Australia on Sunday.
Hosts India and five-time winners Australia qualified for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 by triumphing over New Zealand and South Africa in the semifinals respectively. The hosts are unbeaten in the tournament, while Australia have won eight consecutive wins after losing their first two games.
Matthew Hayden, in a conversation with the International Cricket Council ahead of the finale, believes India will win as they enjoy the support of its 1.3 billion popular and are performing well under pressure.
“I believe India will win the World Cup and why they will win the World Cup is because they have the weight of 1.3 billion people behind them,” the two-time 50-over World Cup winning batter said. “They’re playing great cricket. They’re playing great cricket under pressure. They’re playing cricket where they’re very together.
“Their bowling unit is extremely experienced. Even Siraj as the youngest member of the squad has now got considerable experience. Kohli’s form. I mean, goodness, over 700 runs in this tournament. Rohit’s form, Shubman’s class. Shreyas Iyer’s now. Absolute resurgence through this World Cup puts them as undeniable favourites.”
He did see Australia as a threat to India in the final.
“There’s an X factor, and that is that Australia are winners. We’ve won this tournament more than anyone in the competition. We’ve won it regularly and boy, here we are again going to be one of the great matches and match ups through this World Cup but my heart tells me that I love to see Australia at least compete and win.”
He concluded by saying that India have the edge over every side they competed against in the event.
It is pertinent to mention that Sunday’s final between India and Australia will be a repeat of the 2003 edition where Ricky Ponting’s side picked up a comprehensive 125-run win over Sourav Ganguly’s men.