R Ashwin comments on Australia’s strategic masterclass against India in the final
By SMCS - Nov 23, 2023 2:40 pm
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Team India all-rounder R Ashwin applauded Australia’s tactical brilliance in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 final at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday. They beat Team India, who came into the final as favourites playing on home soil alongside an unbeaten record in the tournament as well. Despite giving away 80 runs in the first powerplay, Australia bounced back and restricted India in the middle overs and eventually won. Cummins himself dismissed Shreyas Iyer and Virat Kohli, ending with 2-34 off his 10 overs.

Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins led Australia to another World Cup glory

He said on his YouTube channel: “Australia were tactically outstanding in the final. I was shell-shocked to see their tactics during the final. Cummins was struggling in ODIs leading upto the World Cup, but the last 4-5 matches of the World Cup, almost 50 percent of his balls were cutters. In the final, Cummins had a 4-5 field like an off-spinner does. He bowled only three balls over 6-meter mark in his entire 10 over spell, he did not bowl full enough for the batters to get under or drive.”

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However, Australia restricted Team India to 240, which they chased down in just 43 overs to win their sixth ODI World Cup title as well. Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma stated during the toss that he would have opted to bat first had he won the toss as well. Considering how well the pitch played out in the latter half of the game, Australia managed to read the conditions better than the hosts as well.

“Australia has deceived me personally. I expected them to bat first and score big like they do in the finals. The soil in Ahmedabad was like Orissa, there will not be much bounce, but the soil will not disintegrate because the clay does not release the moisture, it holds it,” R Ashwin shared. “When I was checking the pitch during the mid-innings break, I asked George Bailey why they did not opt to bat first. He said that they have played a lot of IPL and bilateral series here, in their experience, the red soil disintegrates while the black soil gets better to bat on under the lights.”

Australia annihilated India in the World Cup 2023 final

“In Lucknow against South Africa, the pitch was a red soil one. Under lights, the ball not just seamed but also spun. Even dew does not have much impact on red soil whereas on black soil, the ball turns in the afternoon but becomes patta (flat) like concrete [under lights]. That is our experience’. And I was left in awe of their reading of the conditions,” he further added. “Journalists from other countries comment that the pictures have been changed and so on but it is clearly laughable. India is a unique country, different parts of the country have different soils.”

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R Ashwin was also impressed by Pat Cummins’ bowling plans against Team India as he dismissed Virat Kohli (54 off 63) and Shreyas Iyer (4 off 3) with his cutters as well.

“Pat Cummins was struggling as an ODI bowler heading into the World Cup. But in the last four or five games leading into the final, nearly 50% of the balls he bowled were cutters. He bowled to a four-five leg-side field like an offspinner, attacking the stump line,” concluded R Ashwin “He bowled only three balls in the six-meter mark or further up on the pitch in his entire 10-over spell. And he picked up crucial wickets in the final. The five fielders on the on side were square leg, midwicket, mid-on, deep square leg and long leg, and he bowled his ten overs without a mid-off. I have never seen a fast bowler bowl an entire spell to such a spinner-type field in my life, it was a game-breaking spell by Cummins”