The Aussies became the “Ultimate Winners” in the “Ultimate Match” of WTC final 2023 by defeating the number one test team, India by 209 runs at The Oval, Kennington, London. Throughout the match, the Aussies outperformed the Indian side on every front, be it batting, bowling or playing with a winning mentality. The marvellous innings from ace batters, Steve Smith (121 runs) & Travis Head (163 runs) along with effective bowling spells from Nathan Lyons (4/41), Scott Boland (3/46) & Pat Cummins (3/83) made the match one-sided. For his spectacular batting performance, Travis Head was declared as the Player of the Match.
What happened on Day 5, WTC final 2023
With King Kohli & Ajinkya Rahane on the crease, Indian side still had some hopes to get back into the game as India lost its initial 3 wickets at a score of 93 on Day 4 of WTC final 2023. At the end of Day 4, Kohli & Rahane took India to 3/164 which meant that on Day 5, India needed 280 runs off 97 overs. As the loss of wickets happened at regular intervals, Indian side got no chance to recover and finally got wrapped up at a score of 234, thereby registering a humiliating defeat by 209 runs.
5 Reasons Why India lost against Australia
i. Complete failure of Top order batters
The top order batting line up succumbing to Australian bowlers can be considered as the primary reason in the list of why India lost against Australia. Among the top players including Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli, not even a single batter could reach the 50-run mark in both the innings. The combined score of these top four batters remained 56 runs in first innings & 137 runs in the second innings which is clearly a display of a poor show by them.
ii. Dropping key spinner R. Ashwin
Dropping the veteran & the number one Test bowler, Ravichandran Ashwin, from the team at the last moment, proved to be a disaster for the Indian side. Apart from being the top wicket-taker in WTC 2021, the ace bowler had a wonderful 2021-23 season where he remained the leading scalper from the Indian side with 63 wickets. Since the pitch had much for spinners, he could have been instrumental in checking the opposition from putting a big score on the board.
For this decision, captain Rohit Sharma has been slammed by many including master blaster Sachin Tendulkar.
iii. Wrong decision of bowling first
It appeared that skipper Rohit Sharma was not so clear about the weather conditions because of which he chose to bowl first despite winning the toss. The conditions were absolutely fine for batting first which actually helped the Australian batters to put a huge score of 469 runs on the board in the first innings.
iv. Lack of consistency among Indian bowlers
The Indian bowling side started off well in the first innings by claiming top three wickets of Pat Cummins-led side at a score of 76. But afterwards, Steve Smith & Travis Head built a huge partnership, thereby ending their Day 1 at a score of 3/327 without losing any wicket. On Day 2, after claiming next three wickets in a short span of time, the bowlers could have dominated the lower middle batting order of the Aussies. But the batting side, again managed to take the total to mammoth score of 469. This showed how Indian bowlers still need to learn about tapping the right opportunities specially in the crucial matches.
v. Controversies during the match
- Umpire’s wrong decision against Shubman Gill
It was well evident that declaring Shubman Gill out by the umpires during the India’s second innings proved to be a disaster for the Indian side as both the batters, Rohit Sharma & Shubman Gill started off well while chasing a target of 444 runs set by the Aussies. With this decision, the ace batter had to depart causing disgust in both the team and the fans. Had he stayed at the crease for a longer time, the outcome of the match, where India lost against Australia, could have been different.
- Ball-tempering allegations against Australian bowlers
Ex-Pakistani cricketer, Basit Ali, alleged that the ball was tampered by Australian bowlers to get Virat Kohli & Cheteshwar Pujara out in 14th & 19th overs respectively. Though this matter did not get much attention by the authorities, but it remained a much debated topic during the match.
The Aussies’ Unique Achievement
With this, Australia became the first team to win ICC trophies in all the formats, that is,
- Cricket World Cup
- T20 World Cup
- Champion’s Trophy
- World Test Championship.