Ricky Ponting and Michael Vaughan feels India’s choice of wicket for the Cricket World Cup 2023 final against Australia ‘backfired’.
AHMEDABAD: Well before the names of the two teams in the Cricket World Cup 2023 were final, the ‘pitch talk’ had taken over the chatter around the tournament. From the semi-final onwards, there were plenty of discussions around the nature of the pitch that will be seen in the knockout matches of the World Cup. Seeing India pay the price of a slow and sluggish wicket at Ahmedabad in the final against Australia, the great Ricky Ponting called out the hosts’ ‘tactical blunder’ when it comes to preparation of the pitch for the final.
It was Australia skipper Pat Cummins who won the toss and chose to field first. When India skipper Rohit Sharma was asked about his preference, he said he would’ve wanted to bat first. While both captains got what they wanted to from the toss, it was the Australian side’s assessment that paid dividends.
“It was very, very sub-continental conditions today,” said Ricky Ponting while commentating during the match. “A wicket preparation that has probably ended up backfiring on India to be totally fair.”
Former England captain Michael Vaughan feels it was the nature of the pitch that gave Australia a chance to beat India, who were unbeaten in the tournament until the final.
“Strategically they are a very clever team,” Vaughan said in commentary of Australia. “They’ve clearly got a very clever think tank. I don’t think they are a 320 side, they are a 280 side and preparing a pitch like this gave Australia a chance.”
“They did exactly what Pat Cummins said they would, they’ve silenced the crowd. They’ve done it in great fashion. I don’t know anyone who thought the game would be done in 43 overs with Australia coasting to the target,” Vaughan asserted.
On Sky Sports, another former England captain, Nasser Hussain weighed in on the result. He feels it was because of India’s long tail that the likes of Virat Kohli and KL Rahul couldn’t go hard in the middle overs. Lack of all-round options is what, as per Hussain, hurt India’s case.
“India are still a great side – but the pitch brought Australia into it,” Hussain said on Sky Sports.
“India’s four bowlers not being able to bat that well came back to haunt them. That’s why Rahul and Kohli couldn’t go hard.
“They were worried about Shami at No 8.”