Even though India’s captain, Rohit Sharma, is really proud of his side for their incredible journey to the ODI World Cup final, he acknowledged that they were “not good enough” to defeat Australia, the reigning champions, on the big day in Ahmedabad. He stated that, to begin with, 20–30 extra runs at bat would have been beneficial, as would a stronger batting partnership between half-centurions KL Rahul and Virat Kohli.
During the post-match presentation ceremony, Rohit expressed his disappointment with the outcome. “And we are aware that today we fell short of expectations. However, I’m quite proud of the team’s performance from the first game. We did everything in our power to make it our day, but it wasn’t meant to be.
To be honest, another 20 to 30 runs would have been nice. When KL and Virat were batting, we had a conversation for about 25 to 30 overs. I believed that they were forming a strong partnership when they were batting, and our job was to bat for as long as we could. At that point, we were looking at 270-280, but we continued losing wickets. We were unable to form a strong alliance there, and Australia won the match precisely because of it. After three [early] wickets, they cobbled together a substantial partnership.”
India slowed down dramatically in the middle overs, achieving just four fours from overs 11 to 50 and not a single six. This was despite them scoring quickly in the opening powerplay, partly because to Rohit alone, and reaching 81 for 3 in the 11th over. After the early defeats, Rahul and Kohli were regrouping, scoring 67 runs off 108 when Kohli was removed by Pat Cummins. India lost their next five wickets at a cost of just 37 runs. India’s World Cup opening-bat score of 240 was their second-lowest total to date. In their preceding four matches, they had scored 397, 410, 326, and 357.
Under the lights, Australia had a tense start as they lost Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith, and David Warner in the first seven overs, finishing at 47 for 3. With a 192-run stand led by Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, and the balls escaped any more mishap as they lost part of their gloss and glided well onto the bat.
“When you have 240 on the board, you want to take wickets as early as possible, and we did that,” Rohit stated. “But then, we have to give credit to Head and Marnus, who forged a strong alliance and eliminated us from the game. Again, we gave it our best go, but I felt the wicket improved enough to bat on under the lights.
“Under the lights, we knew it would be a little bit better [to bat on]. We didn’t bat well enough to put enough runs on the board, so I don’t want to use that as an excuse. After taking those three wickets up front, we reasoned that by taking another wicket there, we could start the game. However, once more, kudos to the two men in the middle for assembling such a significant alliance.”