Even with such pedigree, Pat Cummins and company would admit that their opponents may start as favorites on Sunday, and not only because they are riding a blue wave at home. Even those who generally root against indian teams will admire the precision and flair with which this version has operated, similar to Australia's totally dominant, undefeated runs at the turn of the millennium. And it's the Rohit Sharma-Rahul Dravid thread here that's worth following. This captain-coach duo has made no attempt to disguise the importance of an offensive style of play, which, when combined with well-defined duties and excellent individual skill, has given india an aura of invincibility.

Dravid and Rohit, on the other hand, come from a show-and-tell country. Chasing greatness may be taught in bollywood films, but, as sad as it may sound, success is still evaluated in certificates and cutlery. Scorecards and statistics may not be enough for posterity to remember this squad as the most dominating ODI side assembled by this country, for Rohit to be grouped with kapil dev and MS Dhoni. Anecdotes will not work either.

Stories of the captain's amazing semifinal victory against New Zealand, Shami's first-ball strikes, Kohli's 100s, his nearly 100s, and Bumrah's brilliance will be remembered warmly around a fireplace if the trophy is on the mantelpiece. india has no divine right to victory, and the captain and coach would agree that they can only set the way for change, which they have done, and in what way. The easiest approach to composing the ideal conclusion is to pretend there are no endings at all.

This world cup didn't really get going until these two heavyweights took the stage in Chennai. It won't be over until these two have had their say. The accomplishments of the one who returns empty-handed from Motera will be tainted with disappointment. An 11-kilo mass of gold and silver plating will provide the best reflection for the other.

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