‘If nothing happened, Shami could’ve…': Wasim Akram finds flaw in Rohit's 'out of the box thinking' in World Cup final
Pakistan icon Wasim Akram opined that Rohit Sharma's Team India panicked in the World Cup 2023 final against Australia.
A fast-scoring World Cup had an anticlimactic finish as Travis Head-inspired Australia crushed a free-scoring India in a low-scoring final. With India suffering another World Cup heartbreak, legendary Pakistan fast bowler Wasim Akram questioned Rohit Sharma's 'out of the box thinking' after the summit clash of the 50-over spectacle. Ending India's unbeaten run at the One Day International (ODI) World Cup 2023, Pat Cummins' Australia silenced the partisan crowd at the Narendra Modi Stadium with a six-wicket win over the Men In Blue.
After smashing a gigantic total in the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand, Rohit's Team India only mustered 240 in the final. Defending the below-par total against the record-time winners, skipper Rohit opted to unleash Mohammed Shami in the second over instead of strike bowler Mohammed Siraj. Though an in-form Shami took the new ball and bagged the all-important wicket of David Warner, the speedster failed to inspire India to a historic win over the Aussies.
'Siraj should have bowled 2-3 overs'
Speaking to Sportskeeda about India's approach to attacking the Australian bowlers, Akram opined that Rohit and Co. 'panicked' during the final. “They panicked a bit. I understand that he [Shami] has dismissed many left-handers and has bowled brilliantly from round the wicket. Travis Head survived against him. You must have noted that Shami bowled a couple of wide balls. I feel Siraj should have bowled 2-3 overs at the start just because of his swing,” Akram said.
'Out of the box thinking' from Rohit
“Psychologically, Shami knew that he comes first change, so the ball is controllable as it is a little old. Giving him the new ball in the World Cup final, out of the box thinking, I am all for it. But, Siraj should have bowled 2-3 overs at the start. If nothing had happened, Shami could have been brought on,” Akram added.
Shami bowled seven overs and leaked 47 runs while Siraj recorded identical figures (1 for 45) with the ball as both pacers shared only two wickets in the final. Riding on Head's 137-run off 120 balls, Australia chased down the 240-run target in 43 overs. Head's brilliant century and Marnus Labuschagne's patient knock of 58 propelled Australia to its sixth World Cup crown in Ahmedabad.
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