‘If they had done it on purpose, it’s stupidity’: Ambati Rayudu’s on World Cup

India’s run at the 2023 World Cup came to a stuttering end in the final, losing by six wickets against Australia in Ahmedabad. The hosts were the only unbeaten team in the tournament and were expected to seal an easy win against bitter rivals, but the Aussies flipped the script in the final to record a famous title win

Fans were left stunned as the pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium turned out to be slow, affecting Rohit Sharma and Co. in the final. Chasing 241 runs, Australia raced to the target in 43 overs, courtesy of a century from Travis Head (137) and an unbeaten half-century from Marnus Labuschagne (58*). In what turned out to be a poor outing for Indian bowlers, Jasprit Bumrah took two wickets while Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj had a dismissal each.

Initially, India had a below-average batting display, getting bowled out for 240 in 50 overs, a stark contrast from their usual batting form in the tournament. KL Rahul top-scored for the home side with a slow knock of 66 runs off 107 balls. The wicketkeeper-batter was forced to play such a slow knock after Virat Kohli’s dismissal and the lack of an effective partner. Meanwhile, Kohli (54) got a half-century and Rohit (47) narrowly missed out on a fifty.

The Aussie bowlers were at their destructive best in the final as Mitchell Starc bagged a three-wicket haul. Meanwhile, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood scalped two wickets each.

Reflecting on the World Cup final, former India cricketer Ambati Rayudu blamed the slow pitch, which was prepared in Ahmedabad. Speaking on BeerBiceps’ YouTube channel, he said, “Even the wicket was very, very slow and lethargic for a final. I don’t know whose idea it was. I think even a normal surface would have done because we were way stronger than the Australian side. We didn’t have to do all that in the final. It was just supposed to be a good cricketing wicket, which, unfortunately, it wasn’t.”

Other than struggling to get bat in the middle overs, India also lost wickets in crucial phases which had an impact on their performance in the death overs. Meanwhile, the pitch got better for batting in the run chase as the visitors reached the target easily.

Ambati Rayudu Net Worth

“Somehow, people think that they are helping the Indian side by preparing a wicket like that. We got stuck on a wicket that was so slow. I don’t think that should happen. It should be a good cricketing wicket. We have the skill and strength in our side to beat any side. The pitch remaining the same throughout 100 overs is an ideal scenario in a limited-overs game. The toss shouldn’t matter that much,” said the former CSK player.

“I don’t know if somebody has thought about it or done it on purpose. If they had done it on purpose, it’s stupidity. But I don’t think they would have done it,” he further added.

Despite the defeat, India had something to cheer about as Kohli was named the Player of the Tournament. The veteran also finished as the top-scorer with 765 runs in 11 matches, packed with three tons and seven half-centuries. Meanwhile, Mohammed Shami finished as the highest wicket-taker, with 24 wickets in seven games.

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