Cricket World Cup: 'It doesn't get better than this' for Australia as India blow their big chance

Pat Cummins hailed the greatest moment of his glittering career after leading Australia to World Cup glory in Ahmedabad, as India's hopes of a famous triumph on home soil fell flat.

India went into Sunday's showpiece as hot favourites after a dominant campaign in which they had won all 10 matches but failed to replicate the same form, as a partisan crowd of almost 100,000 at Narendra Modi Stadium was silenced by Travis Head's brilliant hundred in a gritty, low-scoring affair.

A six-wicket triumph — and sixth World Cup success — caps a remarkable year for Australia, who also beat India in the World Test Championship and retained the Ashes during a lengthy tour of England this summer.

Cummins is one of seven survivors from the 2015 World Cup win, while the core of this squad also won the T20 equivalent two years ago, but this was the seamer's first white-ball title as captain and he immediately rated it as his best.

Pat Cummins lifts the trophy (Getty Images)
Pat Cummins lifts the trophy (Getty Images)

"It's the pinnacle of international cricket, winning a one-day World Cup," Cummins said. "Especially over here in India, in front of a crowd like this.

"It's been a big year for everyone, but our cricket team has been here in India, Ashes, World Test Championship, and to top it off with this is just huge. These are the moments that you'll remember for the rest of your life. You only get a shot at it every four years. Even if you have a 10-year career, you might only get two chances at it. The whole cricket world stops with the World Cup, so it doesn't get any better."

Cummins's captaincy had been called into question early in the tournament, when Australia began their group stage campaign with back-to-back defeats by India and South Africa that left them bottom of the table.

However, the 30-year-old made the gutsy call to bowl first after winning the toss yesterday and was vindicated as India's gun batting line-up failed to fire on a slow, low pitch on their way to a modest total of 240.

Virat Kohli after the Cricket World Cup final (Getty Images)
Virat Kohli after the Cricket World Cup final (Getty Images)

"We were umming and ahing right up until the toss," Cummins explained. "But I thought there was half-a-chance of the wicket getting better tonight. In a World Cup game you can make a mistake bowling and it doesn't really matter too much, but if you make a mistake batting and you're under pressure it can be fatal, so I just felt like it was the right time to go out and have a bowl."

Head, who had also scored a fine century in the WTC Final, then anchored Australia's chase with a stunning 137 from 120 balls, reward for the selectors' gamble in keeping him in their squad despite the broken hand that ruled him out of the first half of the tournament.

"That was a big risk," Cummins added. "I think we could have been made to look really silly if that didn't pay off, but you've got to take those risks to win a tournament. He epitomises everything I want out of a cricket team. He takes the game on, plays with a smile, he just puts the pressure right back onto the opposition and he's just great fun to be around, so I couldn't be happier for Trav."