In the aftermath of India’s heart-wrenching loss to Australia in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 final, former cricketer Harbhajan Singh has voiced his criticism of the pitch chosen for the summit clash at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. India, after opting to bat first, posted a below-par total of 240 runs, allowing Australia to secure a comfortable six-wicket victory and claim their sixth World Cup title.
Harbhajan Singh, known for his off-spin prowess and a key figure in India’s 2011 World Cup-winning squad, expressed his discontent with the slow and dry nature of the pitch used in the final. In a statement to India Today, he stated, “I think it was the kind of pitch which was on the slower side. It was drier than the usual pitch. You know, I would have liked to see a pitch where a lot of scores like 300 plus been scored. That sort of pitch would have helped India more than this kind of pitch where, you know, you bring your opposition in the game.”
The seasoned cricketer argued that a more conventional and flat surface would have better suited India’s aggressive batting lineup. He emphasized, “You know where your batters were in such great form. They looked really good throughout the tournament, and they were fantastic and very, very proud of them. The way they play their cricket. I think, a slightly better pitch would help them to perform better than what happened.”
India’s top-order struggled on the slow wicket, losing three wickets within the first 11 overs. Despite a valiant effort from KL Rahul (66 off 107), the middle order failed to capitalize, with Suryakumar Yadav (18 off 28) and Ravindra Jadeja (9 off 22) unable to make significant contributions.
Harbhajan Singh’s critique raises questions about the pitch selection strategy for crucial matches and its impact on the outcome of high-stakes encounters. As India looks ahead to future tournaments, the discussions around pitch conditions and their suitability for the team’s playing style are likely to gain significance.
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