Pakistan legend Shoaib Akhtar pinpoints the critical factor that went against India in ODI World Cup 2023 final
Shoaib Akhtar, former Pakistan fast-bowler, has identified the critical factor that did not favour India in their six-wicket defeat against Australia in the final of the ICC Men’s Cricket ODI World Cup 2023 at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium. Despite entering the final with an impressive record of ten successive wins, the Men in Blue were thoroughly outplayed by Australia in the title clash.
Shoaib Akhtar reveals an element that wasn’t favourable for India in the final
Akhtar acknowledged India’s dominant performance throughout the tournament, defeating all nine opponents convincingly in the league stage and securing a victory against New Zealand in the semi-final. However, he pointed out that India faltered in the crucial final, attributing it to a combination of unfavourable luck and what he perceived as a somewhat timid approach.
“India played the final, it’s not an easy job. They reached the final by decimating all the other teams. Unfortunately, they couldn’t replicate their performances in the final. They’ve reached close to winning the trophy on many occasions in the last 12 years but couldn’t win it,” Akhtar was quoted as saying by India Today.
“India has the best batting with Kohli scoring the most runs, Shami picked the most wickets. But unfortunately, luck hasn’t been in their favour. But Australia just knows how to hold their nerve in big matches. I thought Australia’s approach was good and India’s approach was a bit timid,” the 48-year-old concluded.
Australia’s dominance in the ODI World Cup 2023 summit clash
In the final match, Indian batters struggled on a slow pitch, posting a modest 240/10 in 50 overs after being put in to bat. Australia, in response, capitalized on Travis Head‘s remarkable century (137) and Marnus Labuschagne’s unbeaten half-century (58) to chase down the target with seven overs to spare.