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Rediff.com  » Cricket » BCCI officials grill Dravid over World Cup final loss

BCCI officials grill Dravid over World Cup final loss

By REDIFF CRICKET
December 03, 2023 00:36 IST
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Rahul Dravid

IMAGE: Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid during practice. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Nearly two weeks after India's heartbreaking loss to Australia in the World Cup final, key officials from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) gathered to review the team's performance with head coach Rahul Dravid.

Captain Rohit Sharma, participating in the meeting remotely from London, engaged in discussions about the team's overall display and shared insights into their strategies for the upcoming South Africa tour.

Despite India's remarkable string of 10 consecutive victories, the final defeat triggered a comprehensive evaluation of their campaign.

In attendance were BCCI secretary Jay Shah, vice president Rajeev Shukla, and Treasurer Ashish Shelar.

 

According to reports, Dravid, granted an extension after his contract ended on November 19, attributed the loss to the pitch at Ahmedabad's Narendra Modi Stadium.

The pitch, recycled from a previous match against Pakistan, did not behave as expected, hindering India's efforts to control Australia during the chase.

The decision to use a slow pitch for the final, a consequence of the local curator's advice, was questioned during the meeting. While ICC rules don't mandate a fresh pitch for knockout matches, it is generally advisable. However, all knockout matches in this World Cup were played on used pitches. The watered-down pitch was intended to assist spinners but ended up being excessively slow, contributing to India's struggle in setting a competitive total.

Australia's decision to field first after winning the toss proved crucial, as the pitch got easier under lights. Despite a valiant start by Rohit Sharma, India's middle-order failed to build momentum, posting 240.Australia, anchored by Travis Head's century, chased the target successfully, securing the World Cup title.

BCCI officials queried Dravid on the decision-making process, particularly choosing this plan when the Indian seamers, led by Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, had performed well throughout the tournament. Dravid defended the strategy, citing its success until the final.

With most World Cup squad members and the support staff on a break from the T20I series against Australia, the focus now shifts to the South Africa tour. This series marks the beginning of India's quest for an ICC trophy, featuring three T20Is, three ODIs, and two Tests as part of the World Test Championship.

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