Wednesday, Dec 06, 2023

IND Vs AUS Final: Ricky Ponting Suggests Slow Ahmedabad Pitch 'Backfired' On India In ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 Trophy Bout

The surface used for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 final in Ahmedabad was different from the ones used in previous India games. Australia great Ricky Ponting pointed to how the slow pitch made run-scoring difficult for India's free-flowing batters

Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting
Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting. File image

In the aftermath of India's heartbreaking loss at the final of ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 against Australia, a variety of reasons are being attributed to the one-off defeat. The fact that the home team were unbeaten (for 10 games) right up till then and were suddenly outplayed in the summit bout has left people wondering what went wrong. (As It Happened | Scorecard | Pics | Full Coverage)

While some believe the loss had more to do with Australia's brilliance, many felt it was simply a bad day in office, and the law of averages catching up with India. Australia batting legend captain Ricky Ponting, however, has suggested that a tactical mistake was the hosts' undoing. 

Ponting, who led Australia to two ODI World Cup titles in 2003 and 2007, said the Ahmedabad pitch did not work to India's advantage; in fact it "backfired" on them. "It was very, very sub-continental conditions today. A wicket preparation that has probably ended up backfiring on India to be totally fair," he stated.

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The surface used for the India vs Australia final at the Narendra Modi Stadium was decidedly different from the ones used in any of the previous India games. The ball was not coming on to the bat in the first innings, making run-scoring difficult for India's free-flowing batters. 

Hence, instead of racking up a 300-plus score that would have put the Aussies under pressure while chasing, India folded for a below-par 240. And despite India picking up three wickets in the first seven overs of the second innings, Pat Cummins' side cantered home as batting got considerably easier under lights, amid dew.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan too believed it was the nature of the pitch that gave Australia a better shot at defeating India. "Strategically they are a very clever team. They've got a very clever think tank. I don't think they are a 320 side, they are a 280 side and preparing a pitch like this gave Australia a chance," Vaughan weighed in.