India’s star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin made a startling revelation on Thursday giving full credit to Australian team management on being tactically outstanding in the World Cup title clash against India at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Despite facing defeats in the initial two matches of the group stage, Australia managed to stage an impressive comeback, securing victory in eight consecutive games. This remarkable turnaround led them to the finals against India, where they clinched the record-extending sixth World Cup title with a six-wicket triumph.
Australia, who normally opt to bat after winning the toss, shocked everyone with their decision to bowl first and Ashwin noted that their choice was purely based on their tactical acumen as the pitch’s black soil tends to favour batting in the evening, and which ultimately proved to be the masterstroke.
“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 on his YouTube channel.
Ashwin expressed high admiration for Aussie skipper Pat Cummins’s “tactical masterclass” in the finals, where Cummins played a pivotal role by securing two crucial wickets, those 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.
Ashwin also reflected on an interesting conversation he had with Australia’s chief selector, George Bailey, during the mid-innings break.
“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. (TOI)