New Delhi, Nov 26 (IANS): Former India left-arm fast-bowler Irfan Pathan believes wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul getting out in the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup final against Australia meant the hosts’ just couldn’t get a move on in their batting innings.
In front of a 92,453-strong crowd at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, Rahul top-scored with 66, but it came off 107 balls, and was able to find the boundary rope just once as Australia’s bowlers kept a tight leash on him and Virat Kohli in the middle overs.
It resulted in the duo never finding the acceleration and India eventually making 240, which Australia chased down in 43 overs, thanks to Travis Head’s 137 and Marnus Labuschagne’s 58 not out, to clinch their sixth World Cup title.
“It was tough because the Indian team was looking behind, absolutely looking behind to Jadeja and Surya Kumar Yadav. And when KL Rahul got out, I think that was the time when India couldn’t just go ahead.”
“I thought as soon as they knew that there was no cover, no mid-off, they could have used their feet a bit more and tried to rotate the strike and not allow guys like Travis Head to bowl those two overs crucially in between. Mitchell Marsh bowled one over as well,” said Pathan to Star Sports.
Australia had elected to bowl first on a pitch and venue where dew would arrive in the evening, making the chase easy. They also had fielders making numerous dives and bowlers using various deliveries and bringing out many variations to keep the Indian batters in check, making Pathan believe Australia came out on top due to their well-laid plans.
“I think India lost to a better-planned game. Australia was a better-planned team. The way they planned, starting from the toss, I don’t think any other team could come close to that kind of planning.”