India’s near perfect World Cup campaign came to a heart-wrenching end as Australia handed the hosts a six-wicket loss in the finals. Australia’s tactical brilliance and clinical performance helped them outperform India in every department, be it batting, bowling or fielding.
Speaking exclusively to the Star Sports show “The Final Take”, former Pakistan pacer Wasim Akram dissected the reasons for team India’s loss in the finals. He also shared his views on Rohit Sharma’s attacking intent throughout the World Cup, and also commented on India’s decision to change their plans and bowl Mohammed Shami before bowling Siraj.
Commenting on India’s decision to change their plans and bowl Mohammed Shami before bowling Siraj, he said: “If you ask me, I found [Mohammed] Siraj to be bowling really well throughout the World Cup, though his wickets column may not suggest that, but the break throughs he gave in Asia Cup and his recent performances have established him as the future of Indian cricket. In this match they straight away brought in Shami and he did have impact on the game right away by getting [David] Warner out, though it was more like Warner got himself out by slashing at a wide ball.
“Another factor is that after losing the three wickets within the first 15 overs the due set in, which made it easier for batting as the ball wasn’t doing much after that. I’m not taking credit away from Australia’s batting, but it does psychologically affect the bowlers. I think in big games like the finals, teams should always stick to what they have been doing and what’s been working for them,” he added.
Akram analysed the reasons for team India’s loss in the finals, he said: “If I have to pick any particular reason, I suppose the middle-order should have played with a ‘do or die’ mindset. I can understand what was going through [KL] Rahul’s mind, that there was no batting to come after [Ravindra] Jadeja and that he had to bat deep, and batting deep meant he couldn’t take risks of getting out. If possibly Hardik [Pandya] was in the team, he probably would take that risk, but if he had taken a risk and gotten out in this situation, then people would have criticised him for that as well. If they had kept pace and scored quickly in the middle overs, then it would have been a different ball game.”
Speaking on Rohit Sharma’s attacking intent throughout the World Cup, and he if should have changed his game-plan for the finals, Akram said: “He’s played like that the entire World Cup, that’s his game. Nobody complained throughout the World Cup with the starts he’s giving or that he was constantly getting out in the 40’s, and now that he has done the same in the finals people are finding a reason to complain. And he is also one of the best players of spin in the world though he got out to [Glenn] Maxwell in the that game, and credit to Maxwell and [Pat] Cummins, but that’s the nature of Rohit’s game and I don’t think he should change it.”