Pat Cummins celebrates taking the catch to dismiss South Africa's Quinton De Kock during the World Cup second semifinal match in Kolkata, India, on Nov.16, 2023. AP
A capacity crowd of around 130,000 is expected to roar on India. The hosts are bidding for a third World Cup title and second on home soil after their 2011 triumph. But five-time champions Australia are a team full of big-match performers who also know what it's like to play in Cricket-crazy India from their time in the Indian Premier League.
"I think you've got to embrace it, the crowd's obviously going to be very one-sided," Cummins told a pre-match news conference on Saturday. "But also in sport, there's nothing more satisfying (as an opposition player) than hearing a big crowd go silent and that's the aim for us tomorrow."
Fans hold placards and cheer for the victory of the Indian cricket team on a street in Ahmedabad. Reuters
The 30-year-old fast bowler added: "You've just got to embrace every part of it, every part of a final — you know in the lead-up there's going to be noise and more people and interest and you just can't get overwhelmed.
"You got to be up for it, you got to love it and just know whatever happens it's fine but you just want to finish the day with no regrets," Cummins said.
And while he accepted the dimensions of Sunday's match would be different to any his side had experienced before, Cummins said: "We play over here in India a lot so the noise is not something new.
"I think on this scale it's probably bigger than we would have experienced before but it's not something totally foreign to what we've had before.
"Everyone deals with it slightly differently — you see Davey (Warner) probably dancing and winning the crowd over, other guys just staying in their own bubble — it should be good."
India have been the form team of this World Cup, winning all 10 matches on their way to the final. "It's going to be awesome," said Cummims. "They've been playing really well, undefeated this tournament. But we know at our best we can give them a good shake."
Cummins also highlighted the impact of rival paceman Mohammed Shami had made upon a "well-rounded" India side. Shami was left out of the team at the start of the World Cup but is now the tournament's leading bowler, with 23 wickets from just six games at a stunningly low average of under 10 apiece — a haul featuring his superb 7-57 against New Zealand in the semi-final.
"He's a class bowler to right and left-armers," said Cummins. "But all our batters can draw on moments where they've taken on these (India) bowlers and done well."
Victory on Sunday would cap a remarkable 2023 for Australia that saw them narrowly lose a Test series in India before defeating India in a World Test Championship final in England, where they also went on to retain the Ashes after a drawn campaign. "It's been a huge year," said Cummins. "These are four marquee events.
"Some of the guys probably spent less than a couple of weeks in their own bed since the end of the Aussie summer," added Cummins, also the skipper of Australia's Test team.
"The guys have been awesome. They're so up for every game they play. To put ourselves in this position, it (winning the World Cup) would just top off an incredible year."
The selection process also means that other Full Member nations like West Indies, Zimbabwe, and Ireland will not even have the opportunity to qualify for the 2025 Champions Trophy, since they didn’t qualify for the 2023 ODI World Cup.
The Proteas won seven of their nine league matches to finish second in the 10-team table to book a final-four clash in Kolkata on Thursday.
The man attempted to hug India’s star batsman Virat Kohli, after making his way into the field of play, but his actions led to a temporary halt in the game as security personnel swiftly apprehended him
Both teams will first meet in two 50-over warm-up games on Dec.25 and 27 respectively, and is followed by three T20Is scheduled to be played on Dec.29 and 31, plus on Jan.2 at Sharjah International Cricket Stadium.
Leaders Al Wasl will look to consolidate their position on the top of the table when they take on rivals Al Wahda in their Round 10 match of the Pro League on Friday.
CEO Mauro Gianetti emphasised the team's role in driving positive social impact and supporting the UAE's decarbonisation goals through a comprehensive sustainability programme.