The star-studded Indian batting unit faltered on the biggest stage but coach Rahul Dravid backed his players, saying they were not defensive and it was the conditions of the match that dictated how the batsmen went about their work. India managed just under 240 runs against Australia in the World Cup final here on Sunday, with Pat Cummins’ side hitting the target in 43 runs to clinch a record-extending sixth World Cup title.
After losing three wickets for 81 runs, Virat Kohli (54 off 63) and KL Rahul (66 off 107) went into combination mode in the middle overs as the hosts managed to find boundaries just twice.
Reporter: “Last year in the T20 World Cup, we made 170 runs in 20 overs, and England chased us down easily. Today when we made 240 runs – Australia had no difficulties. Rohit comes on this wicket and scores 45-47 in 30” balls. But on the other hand, there are some batsmen who can score 60-65 runs on 110 balls. And the batting average is very low. So, what happens is that in big matches, we play a little afraid. She feels, “Our approach is not correct? What are the issues? These issues have been clear since the last three or four World Cups and the Asian Cup.”
Rahul Dravid: “I can’t believe we played with fear in this tournament. In this final, we bowled 80 runs in 10 overs. We were losing wickets. When you lose wickets, you have to change your strategy and tactics. We showed that in this tournament,” he said. When we lost to England, we played differently. You have to play. You have to start cricket on the front foot. And in this match, in the final, we didn’t play anything because of fear. They did a lot of good bowling in the middle overs.
“We lost three wickets. So, we needed a period of consolidation. But whenever we thought we were going to play attacking or positive and go forward and bat, we lost wickets. So, you have to build again. Whenever you have a partnership, you have to build it. I have seen the team’s batting “There was a time when Marnus and Head were playing. They established it. But they weren’t out, so they kept playing. If you keep losing wickets in the middle overs, then you have to rebuild. But it’s not like we started playing defensively.”
India, which last won the ICC Trophy in 2013, has been unable to win a title in the Rohit Sharma-Rahul Dravid era that began after the 2021 T20 World Cup debacle in November.
Dravid’s tenure was until the ODI World Cup and when asked about his future, he was non-committal.
“I haven’t thought about the T20 World Cup next year, I don’t know what will happen in the future,” Dravid said, referring to the T20 World Cup in the US and the Caribbean in six months.
India were on a roll in this tournament until their juggernaut was ended by an all-rounder Australia, who knows how to excel on the biggest stage.
Skipper Rohit Sharma led from the front with his bold batting style throughout the competition and Dravid was the subject of praise for him and the team.
“Rohit has been an exceptional leader, always committed to planning and has given time and personal energy to this campaign. Obviously there is disappointment, but this team has given a lot of happiness in the last two months.” “Of course, Rohit and the team are disappointed, and it is difficult to see the emotions he is feeling.” The coach is in that locker room. But the sun will rise tomorrow, and as athletes we will move forward.”
With PTI input
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