The talk about the pitch for the Cricket World Cup 2023 has been going on long before the teams were finalized. The discussions around the nature of the pitch for the knockout matches of the tournament have been dominating the conversation since the semi-finals. Ricky Ponting, the legendary Australian cricketer, criticized the hosts for their “tactical blunder” in preparing the pitch for the final, as India suffered on a slow and sluggish wicket in their match against Australia.
Australia won the toss and chose to field first, a decision that worked in their favor. India’s captain, Rohit Sharma, expressed his preference to bat first if given the chance. However, it was Australia’s assessment of the pitch that proved to be beneficial for them.
During the match, Ponting commented on the sub-continental conditions of the pitch, stating, “A wicket preparation that has probably ended up backfiring on India to be totally fair.” Former England captain, Michael Vaughan, believed that the nature of the pitch gave Australia an opportunity to defeat India, who had been unbeaten throughout the tournament until the final.
Vaughan praised Australia’s strategic approach, saying, “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.” He also highlighted Australia’s ability to silence the crowd and win the game convincingly.
Nasser Hussain, another former England captain, shared his thoughts on the result, attributing India’s loss to their long tail of bowlers. According to Hussain, the lack of all-round options affected India’s performance, preventing players like Virat Kohli and KL Rahul from going hard in the middle overs.
Hussain said, “India are still a great side – but the pitch brought Australia into it. 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.”
Overall, the discussion around the pitch for the Cricket World Cup 2023 final has sparked debates and criticism, with pundits analyzing its impact on the game and questioning India’s preparation choices.