The dry wicket was the reason for India's final defeat

It was the wicket which was very dry and slow, making it difficult to bat, especially in the first innings

By Anis Sajan

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Australia's Glenn Maxwell celebrates after winning the final. — Reuters
Australia's Glenn Maxwell celebrates after winning the final. — Reuters

Published: Sun 19 Nov 2023, 11:19 PM

Last updated: Sun 19 Nov 2023, 11:20 PM

Unfortunately for Indians fans, Australia put up a clinical performance in all three departments — first with the ball and then Travis Head played the innings of of his life to break a billion hearts.

India were the team to beat as they had beaten all the teams convincingly and excelled throughout the tournament. They were the overwhelming favourites to lift their third World Cup.

More so because the final was in their own backyard and with 120,000 fans backing them.

So where did India falter?

It was the wicket which was very dry and slow, making it difficult to bat, especially in the first innings.

Skipper Rohit Sharma, as he has been doing all tournament, gave India a rousing start but once he got out, India found batting difficult on this pitch and went into their shell.

Yes, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul had to consolidate but hitting boundaries on this wicket was challenging and India managed just five boundaries in the last 40 overs.

And when Australia came to bat, the ball did move around in the first 10 overs, but the wicket settled down in the evening and batting became definitely much easier than what it was in the afternoon.

This is without taking anything away from the Aussies who were absolutely brilliant and bowled to their field, their fast bowlers got the reverse swing because of the abrasive nature of the wicket — which was not the case when India bowled.

This wicket was similar to India's first match at Chennai where Pat Cummins had decided to bat first, and their batters struggled on that slow pitch and were bowled out for just 199.

Even though India were three down for just two in reply, Kohli and Rahul played fantastic knocks as the home team went on to beat Australia comprehensively.

In that game as well, batting was easier under the lights.

If the wicket was better in Sunday's final, I think the result could have been different.

India paid the price for preparing a dry surface.

But this Indian team were simply outstanding throughout the tournament and need to keep their chin up.

Yes, they faltered at the last hurdle but that's the beauty of this wonderful game.


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