India was expected to perform better than their total of 240 runs in 50 overs after being invited to bat first by Australian captain Pat Cummins. The ongoing tournament-deciding contest against Australia in Ahmedabad will require India to deliver one of the most exceptional bowling performances in the history of the ICC Cricket World Cup finals. As the hosts of the 13th edition of the World Cup, India has shown their ability to handle pressure in knockout matches of global tournaments.
The Narendra Modi Stadium pitch is not ideal for high-scoring matches, but India was still expected to do better than 240 runs in 50 overs after being invited to bat first by Australian captain Pat Cummins, which was a surprising decision at first. India already holds the record for defending the lowest score in an ODI World Cup final, as their victory in the first ICC event four decades ago remains the lowest score defended in an ODI World Cup final to this day. It is the only instance of a team defending less than 200 runs in a World Cup final.
Out of the 11 World Cup finals that have been decided without boundary count so far, seven have been won by the team batting first, while four have been won by chasing teams. Interestingly, during India’s second World Cup triumph 12 years ago, they achieved the highest successful run-chase in a World Cup final.
Among the 30 ODIs played at the Narendra Modi Stadium, both teams batting first and second have emerged victorious 15 times each. Indian fans may have hoped for a bias towards teams setting a target in this match, considering the significance of the occasion. However, it is worth noting that eight out of the 15 successful ODI run-chases at this venue have surpassed the 241-run mark. India also holds the record for the highest run-chase in this format at the Narendra Modi Stadium. In one of the two instances where a team chased down more than 300 runs in Ahmedabad ODIs, India successfully chased down a target of 325 runs against West Indies in 2002, with five wickets and 14 balls to spare.