Travis Head inspired Australia to World Cup glory over hosts India with a magnificent century, then admitted: ‘Not in a million years did I think that would happen.’
Head made a sparkling 134 off just 120 balls as Australia breezed to their target of 241 with six wickets and seven overs to spare in front of a crowd of 92,000 in Ahmedabad.
‘What an amazing day,’ he said, after becoming the third Australian – after Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist – to score a hundred in a World Cup final. ‘I’m just thrilled to be a part of it.’
Head had missed Australia’s first five group games as he recovered from a broken hand, and captain Pat Cummins praised the selectors for taking the risk of picking him the squad.
‘The medical team were fantastic,’ he said. ‘They could have been made to look really silly. But it paid off. I couldn’t be happier for Trav.’
Travis Head lifting the trophy with teammate Marnus Labuschagne after the two put together a strong partnership
Head was instrumental in Australia’s defeat of home favourite’s India in the World Cup final
Head’s heavily bandaged hand during the game against New Zealand, he broke it and missed the first five games
Cummins, who ended up leading his team to nine wins in succession to take the trophy, described the victory as ‘huge’, adding: ‘It’s the pinnacle of international cricket, especially here in India, with that crowd.
‘It’s been a big year for everyone, with the World Test Championship and Ashes. But to top it off with this – these are the moments you remember for the rest of your life. You only get a shot at the World Cup every four years, and the whole cricket world stops for it.
‘I was a little bit nervous in the morning, just seeing the sea of blue in the hotel and walking towards the ground. But you knew you were walking towards something pretty special. It’s an experience you’ll never forget.’
Indian coach Rahul Dravid described his team’s defeat as a ‘tough day at the office’ after their winning streak of 10 came to an end at precisely the wrong moment.
‘We gave everything we had,’ he had. ‘Just at the last step we didn’t have our best game. Credit to Australia. They were better than us.
‘We fell about 30 or 40 runs short. It felt the ball was stopping in the afternoon more than in the evening, when it came on to the bat much better there was a conscious effort to take the game deeper, but we kept losing wickets. Travis Head played exceptionally well.’
Head also took a sensational catch off Glenn Maxwell’s bowling to dismiss Rohit Sharma
Pat Cummins lifts the World Cup and said the win ‘was an experience you’ll never forget’
India coach Rahul Dravid was magnanimous in defeat and said Australia deservedly won