Updated March 17th, 2024 at 17:09 IST

India 'DOCTORED' World Cup Final pitch but fell into their own TRAP, claims Mohammed Kaif

In the final match, Rohit Sharma was asked to bat first, and India managed only 240 runs, which Australia chased down comfortably within 43 overs.

Reported by: Vishal Tiwari
Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma | Image:PTI
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In a startling revelation, former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif has alleged that India attempted to manipulate the pitch for the final match of the 2023 ODI World Cup. Despite an undefeated run in the series, India suffered a humiliating loss to Australia in the summit clash in Ahmedabad on November 19.

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Mohammed Kaif asks genuine question on World Cup final defeat

Speaking to ‘The Lallantop’ YouTube channel, Mohammed Kaif claimed that the pitch for the final was intentionally slowed down by the groundsmen to favor the Indian team. He stated that during his three-day stay, both Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid meticulously monitored the pitch's condition. 

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Kaif said that he observed the pitch gradually changing its appearance with no watering and minimal grass cover, indicating India's desire for a slower track. He asserted that India's strategy backfired as they aimed to neutralize Australia's pace attack comprising Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc.

Reflecting on the consequences, Mohammed Kaif admitted that the decision to alter the pitch was a mistake. He highlighted Pat Cummins' astute decision to bowl first, drawing from his experience in Chennai where batting was challenging on a slow pitch. Kaif emphasized the influence teams can wield over pitch conditions, dismissing claims of curator independence.

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In the final match, Rohit Sharma was asked to bat first, and India managed only 240 runs, which Australia chased down comfortably within 43 overs, courtesy of a brilliant century by Travis Head.

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The decision to play the final on a used pitch had raised eyebrows earlier, with ICC pitch consultant Andy Atkinson accusing India of switching the semi-final pitch from fresh to used. However, a BCCI source refuted these claims, asserting that Andy had concluded his assignment before the final.

This was India's best chance to end their ICC trophy-winning drought, which has been going on since 2013.  

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Published March 17th, 2024 at 17:09 IST