New Delhi: The soil for the pitch of Cricket World Cup 2023 Final was from Odisha, said Team India cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin.
“Let me make it clear, Australia did not win because of destiny or luck. They were tactically outstanding in the final. I watched their performance in the final with absolute fascination. Australia and Pat Cummins deceived me. I thought Australia would bat first if they win the toss because, historically, it’s an Aussie thing to ‘win the toss and bat’. The wicket used for the final was not Ahmedabad soil, it was rather from Odisha. It was the kind of wicket that would not disintegrate too much,” said Ashwin.
Ashwin was highly impressed with Pat Cummins’s “tactical masterclass” in the finals as Cummins went on to take two key wickets of Shreyas Iyer and Virat Kohli.
“Final was a tactical masterclass by Cummins, he had a 4-5 fielding setup, similar to an off-spinner, hitting stump line – he bowled only 3 balls in the 6-meter mark towards the stump line as not allowing batters to drive – he bowled all-overs without mid-off, a masterclass,” said Ashwin on his YouTube channel.
Ashwin also anticipated Australia to stick to tradition and bat first, but they surprised everyone with their decision. He noted that Australia’s choice at the toss was rooted in analyzing the pitch’s black soil, which tends to favor batting in the evening.
Ashwin also recalled his chat with Australia’s Chief Selector George Baily after the match and said: “I had a chat with George Bailey during the mid innings, I asked him why didn’t you guys bat first like you always do – he answered back, we have played IPL & Bilateral series here a lot – red soil disintegrates but not black soil & it gets better under lights – no impact on dew on red soil but black soil has good turn in afternoon & then it will be a concrete in night – this is our experience,” said Ashwin.
The spin-bowling all-rounder further said that he never thought that his World Cup journey would end with him playing just one match. Ashwin played the India’s first league game against Australia at his home ground – the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, claiming one wicket for 34 runs in his allotted ten overs quota.
“Never thought that my run at the World Cup would end after playing one match in Chennai, because I was bowling with good rhythm. My return was supposed to come against New Zealand at Dharamsala, Hardik had a heartbreaking injury. Hardik Pandya was an important figure because we did not have an all-rounder to replace him,” Ashwin said.