Former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh openly criticized the pitch used for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 final between India and Australia at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on November 19.
The uneven nature and slowness of the pitch played an important role in deciding the course of the CWC 2023 final encounter, as Australia made the most of the conditions to beat India by six wickets in Ahmedabad.
The pitch at Narendra Modi Stadium was slow, and it made a big difference in how the teams played, as Team India's plan didn't work well in the second innings because they didn't adjust to the changing conditions on the slow pitch.
Men in Blue planned to score around 280, but the pitch slowed down and the ball got softer in the afternoon sun, making it tough to score. But in the second innings, the ball was coming on the bat very well, and the Australians capitalized on the opportunity to win the World Cup in 2023.
Notably, India could post only 240 runs on the board in the final and Australia successfully chased down the target in 43 overs with 6 wickets in their hand in Ahmedabad.
Harbhajan Singh told India Today: “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 India more than this kind of pitch where, you know, you bring your opposition in the game.”
He added, “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.”
On being asked if India would have won the trophy if it had been played on a better track, Harbhajan said: “Yeah, most definitely. I believe India was the superior side. You ask anyone. Yesterday before the game, I spoke to a couple of my Aussie friends who I played with in my era.”
He signed off by saying, “And all of them, they said, India is just top side, and it will be India all the way, But, of course, the Australian team they came out with the plan, they executed well, and they played fantastic cricket. And, of course, if the wicket was on slightly on a better side, one with the ball coming nicely onto the bat, Uh, you know, I think, we would have enjoyed more.”
(With India Today Inputs)