NEW DELHI : 2011 World Cup winner Suresh Raina feels Australia skipper Pat Cummins’s uncanny captaincy proved to be a major difference in the World Cup final between India and Australia at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Cummins made an unprecedented move by putting India to bat in the final, putting the Indian team in a position that skipper Rohit Sharma wanted.
But as the final started to transpire the move paid dividends as the Baggy Greens restricted the unbeaten Men In Blue on a score of 240.
Some of the reasons that contributed to the success were the constant rotation of bowlers and fielding changes according to the game plan.
“What swung the game in Australia’s favour was Pat Cummins’ captaincy. The way he brought Glenn Maxwell into the attack to get the wicket of Rohit Sharma with a brilliant catch from Travis Head was very smart. Adam Zampa was great too, as was Cummins himself in dismissing Virat Kohli. They outplayed India and were very solid in their planning,” Raina said in his column for the ICC.
“I think Cummins showed real temperament in his captaincy. He changed his bowlers knowing he could put pressure on each India batter even though they were all in such good form. His tactics made all the difference, and his planning and execution was perfect,” Raina added.
Australia’s brilliance in the field provided ample support to the bowlers, with the quick sharp reflexes of fielders stopping plenty of runs and their catching in the outfield was one of the highlights.
“Another big factor was Australia’s fielding, I think they saved 30 to 40 runs. From ball one, they were saving a lot of singles and boundaries. There was Travis’ catch and some excellent work in the deep from David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne,” Raina said.
The six-wicket victory marked Australia’s sixth in the history of the 50-over World Cup, on the other hand, India remained with two World Cups following the team’s successes in 1983 in England and on home soil in 2011.
Raina was still lively by the performance of India and believes that they can make amends at the next edition of the tournament in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia in 2027.
“We will see the Indian team doing well again because they know how to reach the latter stages of tournaments now. It just takes a bit of time to understand how to manage those pressure situations, especially when you’re at home. Sometimes when there’s a lot of pressure you can lose your focus, and I think that’s a lesson they will learn from this,” Raina said. (ANI)