The Australian bowlers delivered a stellar performance in the 2023 World Cup final, capitalizing on a challenging pitch as the Indian batting lineup faltered, managing 240 after being invited to bat. Before the high-profile match, Australian captain Pat Cummins had expressed the satisfaction of silencing a big crowd, and he lived up to his words. Mitchell Starc delivered India the early blow when he dismissed Shubman Gill on just 4; Rohit Sharma, then, fell on 47, as he attempted to boost India’s run rate in the innings. However, Rohit did receive fair share of criticism for his shot selection.
In the final over of the Powerplay, Rohit had smashed Glenn Maxwell for a four and a six, but stepped out of the crease in a bid to send another delivery onto the stands. However, Maxwell pulled back his length and Rohit, who had already committed to the shot, mistimed and the ball instead sailed in the air towards the cover area. Travis Head made no mistake as he grabbed a brilliant catch to cut short Rohit’s knock.
While Rohit has been aggressive throughout the World Cup, the shot selection drew criticism from former India opener Virender Sehwag.
“He may or may not be disappointed by it, but team management would certainly be. The coaching staff will tell him that when you have already hit a 6 and a four, you should not have played that shot. But Rohit thought, it was the last over of the Powerplay and he didn’t want to let Maxwell go easy. No doubt, it was a bad shot. You gave a chance. If he had played it out, situation could have been very different,” said Sehwag on Cricbuzz.
“But it seemed a completely different wicket after Rohit was dismissed. Neither anyone could hit a shot, nor the batters were able to rotate strike.”
Later in the innings, Virat Kohli (54), attempting to maneuver an odd delivery, ended up playing onto his stumps, prompting a hush to fall over the 132,000-strong Narendra Modi Stadium and leaving fans across India in stunned silence.
The challenging conditions on the pitch made stroke-making increasingly difficult as the match progressed; KL Rahul’s innings of 66 runs off 107 deliveries proved crucial, providing valuable stability to the Indian innings. However, despite his efforts, Rahul would have preferred to carry on until the end, considering the demanding nature of the conditions.