Former England captain Michael Vaughan has branded Australia’s World Cup success the best he can remember in cricket.
Pat Cummins’s side overcame heavy favourites India in Ahmedabad on Sunday to secure their sixth World Cup title, winning by six wickets in front of well over 100,000 home supporters.
Travis Head hit a century, joined in a partnership of 192 by Marnus Labuschagne, who finished 58 not out in the run chase with Glenn Maxwell hitting the winning runs off his first ball.
Vaughan enjoyed a stellar professional career in the game, including nearly a decade playing for England – who he captained to 2005 Ashes success – scoring 5,719 Test match runs.
And the 49-year-old praised former rivals Australia in his latest column for The Telegraph, hailing captain Pat Cummins for his tactics in the final as he opted to bat first and restrict India.
Michael Vaughan has claimed Australia’s World Cup win is the ‘best’ he has seen in his life
Australia beat India by six wickets to lift their sixth World Cup title in Ahmedabad on Sunday
Vaughan sung the praises of his former rivals having captained England during his own career
‘Australia’s victory in Ahmedabad caps the best World Cup win I can remember in my time playing and covering cricket,’ he wrote.
‘To beat this India team in front of more than 100,000 Indian supporters, on a pitch meant to suit the hots, is an extraordinary sporting achievement, especially after starting the tournament with two losses.
‘Cummins is calm, precise, a great people person who understands cricketers and how to manage them,’ Vaughan continued later in his column. ‘Inside he has the steel to drive the team.
‘Tactically, he had a dream final. Choosing to bowl, then swapping bowlers regularly, squeezing in the field, and bowling brilliantly himself. Australia’s bowlers were all excellent, and they fielded brilliantly.’
Australia’s greatest side has often been judged to be the side of the mid 2000s, featuring the likes of Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath.
Ponting and McGrath were both part of the sides that won the 2003 and 2007 World Cups, while Warne took 708 Test wickets in his career, the second most of all-time.
The likes of Adam Gilchrist and Michael Clarke also played vital roles in the success of the Australian sides of that period, and Vaughan argued that the individuals in the current Australia team, that won the World Test Championship and ODI World Cup in the same year – as well as retaining the Ashes away from home – are up there with the greats.
He said the likes of Josh Hazlewood (left), Pat Cummins (centre) and Mitchell Starc (right) should be considered among the greats
He compared Australia’s success to that of the team that included the likes of Adam Gilchrist (left) and Ricky Ponting (centre)
‘This group of Australian players had the misfortune of following one of the greatest teams in history, that of the nineties and noughties,’ Vaughan wrote.
‘It is difficult to always be compared to legends of the past. By winning a World Cup in India, the hardest place to do it, they have now achieved something the great of old never did.
‘I think some of these names – Warner, Smith, Cummins, Starc, Hazlewood – should now stand with Ponting, Waugh, Gilchrist, Warne and McGrath. They are a special team.
‘It’s been a consistent group of Australia players Seven of the squad won the World Cup in 2015, and 10 of them won the T20 World Cup in 2021. Eight of the XI are part of the side that won the World Test Championship this year, and have shown they can compete in all conditions, which not all teams can, in India and England this year. They deserve a huge amount of respect.’