Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid accused of ‘stalking’ India-Australia World Cup final pitch: ‘They came in the evening and…’ | Cricket

November 19: A day etched in the collective memory of Indian cricket fans as a moment of colossal heartbreak and a missed opportunity. It was on this day that a billion dreams were crushed at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Rohit SharmaThe Australian-led team suffered a rather one-sided defeat against Australia in the ODI World Cup final. Until that moment, India had been unstoppable, achieving a glorious ten-match winning streak. For a team aspiring to break the ICC title drought since 2013, this match held the promise of redemption, a chance to reclaim glory on a global scale. Yet fate had a cruel twist in store for them, as the team their streak began against would later lead to their downfall in the most bitter of ways. For Rohit and his teammates, it was a crushing end to a journey fueled by the dream of winning the World Cup.

Indian head coach Rahul Dravid with skipper Rohit Sharma after the final of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 (PTI)

As Patrick Cummins elected to bat first, optimism soared among Indian fans upon hearing Rohit’s assertion: “I would have batted first.” » Yet as the day progressed, the harsh reality set in, revealing why the Australian captain had chosen to defy the convention of batting first in a high-pressure match.

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Amidst a slow wicket, Australia’s bowlers were formidable, stifling the hosts and restricting them to just 240 runs. As evening fell, conditions seemed more favorable for batting, amplifying the anxiety as Australia effortlessly chased down the target, fueled by Travis headIt’s sublime 137.

In the days that followed, there was much discussion about the nature of the pitch in the World Cup final. Many believed that the slow pitch was one of the main reasons for India’s debacle, with the team recording brilliant victories on competitive wickets throughout their World Cup campaign. Earlier this week, however, former India batter Mohammed Kaif, who was part of the tournament’s broadcast team, made an interesting revelation about Rohit and head coach Rahul Dravid’s alleged role in the build-up from the field for the marquee final clash.

Kaif claimed the star duo would visit the pitch in the three days leading up to the World Cup final and saw the “color” of the pitch continuing to change.

“I stayed there three days, I did a lot of shows. Rohit Sharma came in the evening with Dravid, went to the field, stayed there for an hour and left. They came back the second day and did the same thing. This lasted three days and I saw the color of this tone change. I wore a blue shirt today, it would look yellow three days later… that was the extent of the change,” Kaif revealed on Guest in the press room on LeLallanTop.

“No watering, no grass. It became a very slow pitch. That’s the truth. There was Cummins and Starc, they were bowling fast, and the idea was to give them a slow pitch, and they made a mistake there. People say “the conservative did his job, we didn’t say anything”. everything is absurd (This is rubbish). You were there, you talk to him 100. ‘Ghaas kam karo, paani kam daalna’, line up hi toh bolni hain (Don’t use too much grass, don’t water it. Just say two lines). And there’s nothing wrong with that, you’re the home team, enjoy it. But we didn’t use it properly,” the former India batter said.

Cummins learned from Chennai clash

Kaif believes the Australian captain has learned lessons from his team’s defeat in Chennai against India in the World Cup opener. Australia had batted first in this match, but were bowled out for only 199. India chased down the target with over eight overs remaining.

“Cummins learned lessons from the first match against India in Chennai. He had won the toss and batted first, and India easily won the match in the run chase. In the final, teams generally do not opt ​​for alignment. We did it in 2003 and we lost. But Cummins learned from it and kept going, whatever the opportunity,” Kaif said.

“If it was a normal pitch…the form that Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav were in…they were in very good touch! If we had flat ground we would have won 100%. Ham wicket me doctoring karne ke chakkar me phas gaye (We tampered with the wicket, and that led to our downfall),” Kaif concluded.

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