There will be several analysis on why India lost the World Cup final despite being the outright favourites after a 10-match winning streak in the lead up to the match. Some of the legendary cricketers in Ricky Ponting, Nasser Hussain, Harbhajan Singh felt that the Ahmedabad pitch ploy “backfired”, while the likes of Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag felt the sluggish 67-run stand between KL Rahul and Virat Kohli cost India the match. However, Gautam Gambhir and Wasim Akram pointed out a fresh angle as they lambasted one of Rohit Sharma’s crucial moves in the final against Australia.
With Pat Cummins silencing the Ahmedabad crowd on Sunday evening with the prized wicket of Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav was supposed to walk in at No. 6. That is what the line-up had been for India throughout the competition. But the team management backed a left-handed batter in Ravindra Jadeja to go ahead of Suryakumar, who has been picked as a specialist batter since Hardik Pandya was ruled out of the tournament last month.
Speaking to Sportskeeda, Gambhir and Akram admitted that they were bothy left surprised at the move.
“I didn’t understand why Jadeja was sent ahead of Suryakumar Yadav. Why was he demoted to No. 7? That was nowhere the right call for me,” said the 2011 World Cup winner.
Akram added: “I mean he is playing purely as a batter there. I could have understood the move if Hardik was there in the line-up.”
The former India opener further questioned if the team management was at all ever confident about Suryakumar’s abilities in ODI cricket as a No. 6 batter. Gambhir also felt had Suryakumar been sent at No. 6 he could have gone about with his natural aggressive cricket rather than go on a defensive mode knowing that there are no batters left in the line-up.
“Imagine if KL Rahul as batting with a certain temp with Kohli then it makes even more sense to sent Suryakumar in and ask him to play aggressive cricket, play his natural cricket because you still have Jadeja. It is very easy to say for an expert to say that Suryakumar struggled. But the player’s mindset is that if he gets out the next batters are Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Siraj and Kuldeep. However, if he knows that the next batsman in is Jadeja then he would have had a different mindset. If you were not confident in Suryakumar at No. 6 then you might as well should have picked someone else,” he said.
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