Ashwin reveals mid-innings chat during WC final that left him ‘flabbergasted’ | Cricket - Hindustan Times

'Australia deceived me': Ashwin reveals he was left 'flabbergasted' with insane mid-innings chat during 2023 WC final

Nov 23, 2023 04:44 PM IST

Ravichandran Ashwin released his first video since the 2023 World Cup final, making a major revelation over Australia's decision to bat first.

India faced a heartbreaking six-wicket loss to Australia in the final of the 2023 World Cup last Sunday. On a sluggish surface at the iconic Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, Aussie captain Pat Cummins invited India to bat first; a decision that would make a major impact on the course of the game, as India were bowled for 240 in fifty overs. With batting conditions becoming better under the lights, Australia chased down the target with seven overs to spare, winning a record-extending sixth World Cup title.

 India's Ravichandran Ashwin during practice (REUTERS)
India's Ravichandran Ashwin during practice (REUTERS)

Australia produced a phenomenal bowling performance and executed their plans to perfection in restricting India to a low score in the final, but India's star spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, speaking for the first time since the title clash, stated that he was “deceived” by Cummins in the captain's decision to bowl. Ashwin stated that Australia usually prefer to bat first in a big game, and that the change in approach was unexpected.

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“Australia has deceived me, personally. As Australia's history goes by, they say, 'we are gonna have a bat, mate!' after winning the toss in the big finals. I was praying to the lords that Australia should do that, because many people do not understand that the soil in Ahmedabad was like Orissa's, as in, it played like how any soil taken from the eastern part of the country would play. If every pitch gets a bounce until the knee, this will get bounce only up to the shin. So, the bounce will be less but the soil won't disintegrate because the clay does not release the moisture but holds it,” Ashwin explained on his official YouTube channel.

The Indian off-spinner, who had played against Australia in India's opening match of the World Cup campaign, further stated that he had a chat with the side's chief selector George Bailey on the decision to bat first, and was left “flabbergasted.”

"I was checking out if the pitch was disintegrating at the mid-innings and I met George Bailey, the chief selector. I asked, 'why didn't you guys bat first like you always do after winning the toss?' For that, he answered back, 'We have played IPL and bilateral series for a long time now, and in our experience, the red soil disintegrates but the black soil gets better to bat on under lights. Dew is not a big impact on red soil whereas black soil pitches are good turners in afternoon, but in night, the pitch solidifies into a patta wicket and plays as though it is made of concrete'.

“I was flabbergasted listening to that. See, what is happening is that all the experience from the IPL and the bilateral series... India is becoming a central hub of world cricket. They can read the pitch perfectly,” said Ashwin.

India will return to action on Thursday when the side faces Australia again – this time in a T20I series. All of the side's squad members in the World Cup bar Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, and Prasidh Krishna have been rested for the five-match series against Australia.

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