Master blaster: India's Sachin Tendulkar on his way to 175 against Australia at Hyderabad in 2009
Ahmedabad (India) (AFP) - Undefeated India and five-time champions Australia will clash in the World Cup final at the world’s biggest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
AFP Sport takes a look at six unforgettable encounters between the two powerhouses of cricket.
- Desert Storm: April 22, 1998 -
Sachin Tendulkar unleashed his magic against Australia in Sharjah with a knock for the ages.
The batting great hit 143 off 131 balls to tear into the Australian bowling that included Damien Fleming, Michael Kasprowicz and spin wizard Shane Warne.
After a sandstorm hit the city and suspended play for nearly half an hour, India’s target was revised to 276 and they needed 235 to qualify for the final of the three-nation event.
India fell short of the target but Tendulkar’s masterclass ensured they made the tournament decider on net run rate ahead of New Zealand, the third team in the competition.
India went on to beat Australia in the final two days later with Tendulkar scoring another century.
- Ricky rules: March 23, 2003 -
Skipper Ricky Ponting and Australia reigned supreme in the World Cup final in Johannesburg when they hammered India by 125 runs to lift their third trophy after 1987 and 1999.
Ponting hit an unbeaten 140 in Australia’s 359-2 after openers Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist put on 105 inside 14 overs.
Ponting then shared an unbeaten 234-run stand with Damien Martyn (88) to flay the Indian bowling with lead pacer Zaheer Khan taken for 67 runs in his seven overs.
The Indian batting was no match and were bowled out for 234 in 39.2 overs with Glenn McGrath picking three wickets.
- Close call: November 5, 2009 -
Moment of victory: Shane Watson (left) with captain Ricky Ponting at the 2009 match in Hyderabad
Tendulkar kept up his form against Australia when he smashed 175, albeit in a losing cause in Hyderabad.
Ricky Ponting’s Australia posted a mammoth 350-4 riding on big knocks from Shaun Marsh (112) and Shane Watson (93), but their bowlers withered under Tendulkar’s onslaught.
Despite Tendulkar’s 141-ball blitz, and 59 by Suresh Raina, the rest of the batting collapsed and India fell short in the chase by three runs.
“It was one of the amazing games and certainly one of the best innings ever from Sachin,” Ponting said afterwards.
- Knockout punch: March 4, 2011 -
The heavyweights clashed in the quarter-final of the 2011 World Cup in India and the hosts aced the knockout game despite Ricky Ponting’s 104.
Chasing 261 for victory in Ahmedabad, India rode on fifties by Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir before Yuvraj Singh anchored the chase with his unbeaten 57.
The win buoyed India, who went on to beat Pakistan in the semi-final and then Sri Lanka in the final to lift their second World Cup title after 1983.
Man of the match Yuvraj said the pressure of playing against Australia “was something else”.
- Batting blitz: October 13, 2013 -
In a run feast at Jaipur’s Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Virat Kohli stood tall with his unbeaten 100 off just 52 balls.
India’s top three bulldozed the Australian bowling in their successful chase of 360 with Rohit Sharma top-scoring with an unbeaten 141 and putting on 176 runs with fellow opener Shikhar Dhawan (95).
But Kohli gtrabbed the headlines with his blitz that included eight fours and seven sixes to flay the opposition attack led by Mitchell Johnson.
Skipper George Bailey, now Australia’s chief selector, later praised India’s “awesome batting” that eclipsed his own unbeaten 92.
- Sweet revenge: March 26, 2015 -
Australia avenged their 2011 loss to India in Sydney four years later when they hammered M.S. Dhoni’s team by 95 runs in the World Cup semi-final, courtesy of a Steve Smith century.
Smith smashed 105 off 93 balls to guide Australia to 328-7 after skipper Michael Clarke elected to bat first.
The total proved more than enough as the Indian batting collapsed to 233 all out despite a fighting 65 by M.S. Dhoni.
James Faulkner took three wickets while fellow quicks Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc claimed two each.
Australia went on to humble New Zealand in the final for their record fifth World Cup crown.