The Indian cricket team encountered a setback in their pursuit of World Cup glory, being dismissed for 240 as Australia clinched a six-wicket victory in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 final at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday. Here are the five critical moments that contributed to India’s defeat in the final.
- Shubman Gill’s Premature Departure: Challenged by a slow pitch, Indian opener Shubman Gill faced difficulties, disrupting the team’s usual strong opening. Despite Rohit Sharma’s smooth batting, Gill’s early exit altered the dynamics. Australian bowlers effectively employed slower deliveries, thwarting Indian batters from establishing dominance early in the match.
- Sluggish Performance in the Middle Overs: Following Gill’s dismissal, Rohit Sharma continued an aggressive approach until the 10th over. While India maintained a comfortable position at 80/2, the subsequent 20 overs witnessed a decline. The partnership between Virat Kohli and KL Rahul failed to accelerate, resulting in only 35 runs in the 11 to 20 overs phase and 37 runs in the following 10 overs. Overall, India registered only 13 boundaries and three sixes throughout the innings.
- Delayed Inclusion of Suryakumar Yadav: Amidst struggles on a slow pitch, Suryakumar Yadav was expected to join KL Rahul after Virat Kohli’s departure. However, Ravindra Jadeja took the crease instead, failing to provide the expected acceleration. In hindsight, sending Suryakumar Yadav earlier in the order could have potentially boosted India’s run rate.
- Delayed Introduction of Mohammed Siraj: Despite the successful pace combination of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj in India’s 10-match winning streak, Rohit Sharma chose to open with Bumrah and Mohammed Shami in the crucial final. The delayed introduction of Mohammed Siraj, particularly with the new ball, proved less effective and impacted India’s ability to secure early breakthroughs.
- Failure to Exploit Early Advantage: India had Australia struggling at 47/3 while defending a modest total. Early breakthroughs by Bumrah and Shami created a favorable situation, but India couldn’t capitalize. The team couldn’t sustain pressure, allowing Travis Head (137) and Marnus Labuschagne (58) to forge a significant partnership and secure Australia’s historic sixth World Cup title. Seizing the opportunity might have altered the final’s outcome for Rohit Sharma and his team.