End of a dream run: On the World Cup final

India came up short against Australia despite starting as the favourites

Reducing Australia to 47 for three, India had a window of opportunity but Travis Head shut that door, with one of the finest tons in the history of World Cup finals. The southpaw’s 137 will be spoken about for long. But perhaps the game’s turning point was when he took a diving catch to end Rohit’s belligerent knock: India froze. Australia’s great win leaned heavily on its incredible fielding. When Allan Border lifted the World Cup at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens in 1987, it signalled a new phase of Australian dominance. With Cummins doing the same, it just reiterated his nation’s leading position in cricket. Meanwhile, Kohli found no consolation in winning the Player of the Tournament award and coach Rahul Dravid spoke about emotions running high in the Indian dressing room. Playing that 2003 final, and having now observed how his wards ran into the Aussies all over again, Dravid was full of empathy. This World Cup could be the last for a golden generation of Indian stars as Rohit, Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin and a few others are unlikely to be around for the 2027 edition at South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia. India’s ICC title drought since 2013 continues but there was no shame in the latest defeat as the better team won.