Former Pakistan cricketer Wasim Akram talked about India’s performance in the ICC World Cup 2023 final. He said that India panicked a bit and suggested that Mohammed Siraj should’ve bowled with the new ball while defending.

India had to face a disappointing loss in the final of the ICC World Cup 2023. Australia thrashed them by 6 wickets and extended Men In Blue’s ICC title drought. The Rohit Sharma-led side’s dream to lift the title at home was shattered because they couldn’t cope with the pressure on the big day.

India was asked to bat first and they managed just 240 runs on the board. The pitch was quite slow but after three wickets they got into the shell and played slowly. Thanks to efforts from Virat Kohli (51), KL Rahul (66), and Rohit Sharma (47) they ended up with a fighting total on the board.

With the ball, India did something different from other games. Mohammed Shami was handed the new ball instead of Mohammed Siraj. Although he picked the wicket of David Warner, he didn’t have proper control on the swing and also leaked a few runs as well. The Men in Blue reduced Australia to 47/3 but after that, nothing went their way.

Travis Head (132) blasted a brutal century whereas Marnus Labuschagne (48*) supported him well as Australia completed a comfortable 6-wicket victory at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Wasim Akram pointed out how Mohammed Shami bowled wides with the new ball. He opined that the fast bowler should’ve been used as India used him in the league stage. Speaking to Sportskeeda, he explained:

“They panicked a bit. I understand that he [Shami] has dismissed many left-handers and has bowled brilliantly from round the wicket. Travis Head survived against him. You must have noted that Shami bowled a couple of wide balls. I feel Siraj should have bowled 2-3 overs at the start just because of his swing.

“Psychologically, Shami knew that he comes first change, so the ball is controllable as it is a little old. Giving him the new ball in the World Cup final, out of the box thinking, I am all for it. But, Siraj should have bowled 2-3 overs at the start. If nothing had happened, Shami could have been brought on.”

Travis Head changed the game – Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram also lavished rich praise on Travis Head, saying that he took all the pressure off Marnus Labuschagne. He explained:

“Travis Head changed the game. He took all the pressure away from Labuschagne, the way he batted. Both India and Australia knew that it was about one wicket.”

It remains to be seen what will be the future of the India team after the loss in the final. They will be next seen in action when they will take on Australia in the five-match T20I series, starting on 23rd November.

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