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The song that Australian team heard before the World Cup final

The night Australia won the World Cup final at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium, two crucial meetings took place in the team’s dressing room. In one meeting, Australia’s team analyst was at the center. Coach Andrew McDonald and captain Pat Cummins instructed the analyst to work based on statistics and other information to make a case against bowling first if they won the toss.

In another meeting, the focus was on a song by the famous folk band Simon and Garfunkel from the sixties of the United States. Australian commentator Mark Howard shared this information on a podcast. After Australia’s victory over India with 6 wickets last week in the World Cup final, Howard was invited to Travis Head’s dressing room. He went there to interview the players for his podcast “Howie Games World Cup Diaries” and got insights into these conversations during the celebration.

The Australian team told Sydney Morning Herald, “All the bowling statistics for that pitch were requested from our statistician Tom Moody by Andrew and Pat.” Opener David Warner informed South African legend AB de Villiers in an interview that the presentation of statistics and data by the team’s analysts favored batting first. However, the senior players were inclined towards bowling first, including Cummins and the other two pacers, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.

The Australian team also reportedly listened to Simon and Garfunkel’s famous song “The Sound of Silence” in a team meeting before the final. The calming nature of the song was meant to soothe the Australian cricket team before the final showdown. They were aware of what to expect in the final match. Before the match, with nearly a lakh spectators inside Narendra Modi Stadium and a separate pressure in the stadium’s galleries for the final match, this song was played to prepare them mentally amid all this pressure. A team spokesperson mentioned in an interview published in Sydney Morning Herald, “The ‘Sound of Silence’ was a small presentation in the team meeting.”

The original acoustic version of Simon and Garfunkel’s song was recorded in 1964. Later, a remix version was made, which quickly rose to the top ten in various countries, gaining popularity as a fast favorite song. This folk-rock song received national recording recognition in the United States’ Library of Congress. It remained in the top ten in Australia, Austria, Germany, Japan, and the Netherlands for an extended period.

Some of the song’s lines go like this: “And in the naked light, I saw ten thousand people, maybe more / People talking without speaking, hearing without listening / People writing songs that voices never share.”

The ambiance created by these lines of the song blended with the stadium’s atmosphere during the final. Australian captain probably meant the silence and focus needed when he said at a press conference the day before the final, “Satisfaction will not be anything other than silencing the (Indian) large support. That’s our goal for tomorrow.”

However, the aims of Cummins’ team were fulfilled. The quietest moment in the T20 World Cup final at Narendra Modi Stadium was probably after Kamindu took out Virat Kohli. After that, the silence returned at various times in the match as India headed towards an all-out score of 240. Travis Head began leaving the stadium as he started batting, drawing the audience’s attention away.

In sports, the national teams of Australia haven’t traditionally relied on a song to inspire their fights in World Cups; before this, in August, Australia’s women’s football team had chosen Nicki Webster’s “Strawberry Kisses” for the Women’s World Cup. Like a service, the Australian women’s team reached the semifinals for the first time.

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