Former Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh attributed India’s ICC World Cup 2023 final loss to the poor pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Criticizing the slower and two-paced nature of the pitch, Harbhajan emphasized the impact of winning the crucial toss, which allowed Australian skipper Pat Cummins to choose to field first.
The Men in Yellow successfully restricted India to a below-par score of 240 on the slow pitch. As the dew came into play during Australia’s run-chase under the lights, they comfortably chased down the target in 43 overs with six wickets to spare.
In an interview with India Today, Harbhajan expressed his preference for a better batting wicket.
“I believe the pitch was slower and drier than usual. I would have preferred a pitch where scores of 300 plus could be achieved. That kind of pitch would have favoured India more than the current one, where it brings the opposition into the game,” he said.
Highlighting India’s strong batting form throughout the tournament, Harbhajan believed that a slightly better pitch would have enabled them to perform better in the crucial final match.
“Considering how well our batters were performing and their excellent display throughout the tournament, I was extremely proud of them. The way they play cricket is fantastic. I believe a slightly better pitch would have contributed to better performance than what actually happened,” he added.
Despite a promising start from Rohit Sharma, the Indian batters struggled to accelerate in the middle overs, while the Australian batsmen, particularly Travis Head, found ease against the Indian spinners.
Ultimately, India’s defeat in the 2023 World Cup final marked their sole loss in the tournament, as Australia secured their sixth ODI World Cup triumph.