Rohit Sharma vs Josh Hazlewood: World Cup 2023 final may be won or lost in powerplay

Image Source : GETTY Rohit Sharma was dismissed for a duck by Hazlewood in league stage encounter played in Chennai

India and Australia will face each other for the second time in 42 days at the World Cup 2023 in the final of the tournament at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Both sides are in brilliant form at the moment with hosts winning all of their 10 matches thus far while the Aussies have bee unstoppable since their third league stage encounter winning eight on the trot.

Winning streak of one of the teams will definitely break on Sunday (November 19) at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad and the game could really get decided in the powerplay overs itself especially when India is batting. Team India has been lucky to get quickire starts from their skipper Rohit Sharma is most of the matches. The India captain has scored 354 runs in powerplay in this World Cup at a strike-rate of 133.5 and an average of 88.5 with 21 sixes to his name. His opening partner Shubman Gill hasn’t been as explosive but supported him well mustering 197 runs in 8 innings at an average of 98.50 and a strike-rate of 109.44.

Rohit Sharma in powerplay overs in World Cup 2023

Runs – 354

Fours – 42

Sixes – 21

Average – 88.50

Strike-rate – 133.08

But, here’s the catch!!

Australia have been one of the better teams with the new ball in this World Cup. Their opening bowlers – Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood – have combined to pick 12 wickets in the powerplay so far with the latter claiming seven of those. Even against South Africa, the duo killed the game picking four wickets in less than 12 overs while conceding only 24 runs. Hazlewood, in particular, has been exceptional bowling 188 dot balls and conceding runs at an economy of 3.9. Starc hasn’t been that great compared to Hazlewood but has conceded less than 5 runs an over which is a significant achievement in modern-day cricket.

Josh Hazlewood in powerplay overs in World Cup 2023

Wickets – 7

Dot balls bowled – 188

Runs conceded – 168

Balls bowled – 258

Economy – 3.9

Bowling average – 24

What happened in India vs Australia clash on 8th October in Chennai?

Now another interesting thing to note here is one of the only two times when Rohit Sharma got out early in this World Cup was against Australia in the team’s opening game of the tournament. Hazlewood had caught him plumb in front of the stumps and India were reduced to 3/2 in the first few overs itself. It will certainly be Rohit Sharma vs Josh Hazlewood in the final and whoever wins the battle, his team will have the upper hand for the majority of the encounter unless things drastically change in the middle overs.

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