Five Pivotal Moments Where India Lost the ICC Cricket World Cup Final to Australia
In their pursuit of World Cup glory, the Indian cricket team fell short in the 2023 final against Australia, succumbing to a six-wicket defeat at Ahmedabad's Narendra Modi Stadium. Let's delve into the five key turning points that contributed to India's loss:
1. Shubman Gill's Early Exit: Facing challenges on a slow pitch, Indian opener Shubman Gill struggled to find his rhythm, failing to provide the strong start crucial for the team's success. Despite Rohit Sharma's fluent batting at one end, Gill's early departure set a different tone, disrupting the successful opening formula that had propelled India to a 10-match unbeaten run in the tournament.
2. Slow Middle Overs: After Shubman Gill's dismissal, Rohit Sharma continued his attacking play, contributing 47 runs off 31 balls by the 10th over. However, India faced a setback in the middle overs. Despite a steady start, the team lost momentum, scoring only 35 runs for one wicket in the 11 to 20 overs phase and 37 runs for one wicket in the 21 to 30 overs phase. With minimal boundaries and sixes, India struggled to accelerate the innings.
3. Delayed Introduction of Suryakumar Yadav: Facing a challenging pitch, India found themselves at 148/4, with Virat Kohli departing after a resilient 54. While many expected big-hitting Suryakumar Yadav to join KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja came in instead, managing only a 22-ball 9. Hindsight suggests that promoting Yadav earlier in the batting order might have provided the acceleration needed for a more formidable score.
4. Late Introduction of Mohammed Siraj: In a departure from the successful formula of their 10-match winning streak, captain Rohit Sharma opted to open the bowling with Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, delaying the introduction of Mohammed Siraj. Known for his potency with the new ball, Siraj's impact was diminished when brought in as the first change, affecting India's ability to secure early breakthroughs.
5. Failure to Capitalize on Australia's Early Struggles: Despite reducing Australia to 47/3 early in the defense of a modest total, India couldn't capitalize on the advantageous situation. The bowling duo of Bumrah and Shami provided early breakthroughs, but the team failed to exert sustained pressure. This allowed Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne to form a decisive 192-run partnership, steering Australia to their historic sixth World Cup title. If India had seized the opportunity to capitalize on Australia's early struggles, the final outcome might have been different.