'Deep diving' into Travis Head's 'goodness gracious' moment against India in World Cup final

By, New Delhi
Nov 20, 2023 11:40 PM IST

How Australia's Travis Head turned the tie on its head with his ‘goodness gracious’ moment against India in the World Cup final.

High risks and high rewards. Besides being India's charismatic leader in the 2023 edition of the ICC World Cup, veteran opener Rohit Sharma was also a six-hitting machine. Nicknamed the Hitman, Rohit brought his 'PlayStation-like' batting style even in the final of the World Cup against Australia. The India skipper was creaming fours and smoking sixes in the powerplay after Travis Head-starrer Australia invited the World Cup hosts to bat at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

Australia's Travis Head after he takes the catch to dismiss India's captain Rohit Sharma (AP)
Australia's Travis Head after he takes the catch to dismiss India's captain Rohit Sharma (AP)

Rohit was three short of another quick-fire half-century at the grandest stage of them all - the World Cup final. However, Rohit was stopped in his tracks by the individual brilliance of Head, who even went on to headline the blockbuster final with his marauding knock against the mighty Indian side. By the time Glenn Maxwell was roped in to bowl his second over, Rohit had powered Team India to 66-1 with his 37-run knock off 27 balls.

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Playing Maxwell for a dot, Rohit smoked a maximum to go past legendary West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle in the six-hitters list. The Hitman then smacked a boundary to obtain 10 runs in the first three balls. What happened on the next ball courtesy of Head, turned the tie on its head. Rohit mistimed his lofted shot which presented Head an opportunity to silence the packed Narendra Modi Stadium. The Australian southpaw sprinted back from the cover point, tracking the ball over his shoulder before timing his ‘Superman dive’ to perfection.

'One of the greatest catches under pressure'

“Could this be the moment? Oh my goodness gracious me. One of the greatest catches under pressure you will ever see. Is that a match-turner? Australia might believe so,” former New Zealand cricketer and commentator Ian Smith said on-air as Rohit departed for 47 off 31 balls.“It’s never easy running back over your shoulder, particularly when it’s Rohit Sharma. He’s made great ground here. That is a wonderful catch," added Shane Watson, who was in awe of Head during the low-scoring World Cup final between India and Australia.

Head hundred fires Aussies to 6th ODI crown

Even batting legend Sunil Gavaskar admitted that Head's blinder to dismiss Rohit was the turning point of the summit clash. After Rohit's departure, Virat Kohli-starrer Team India only mustered 240 in the 50-over contest. Head demolished the Indian attack with the willow as the star batter smashed 137 off 120 balls to seal a famous win for Australia. Riding on Head's blistering century, Australia defeated India by six wickets to seal the record-extending sixth World Cup crown in the 50-over format.

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