It was expected because New Zealand and Australia players have more strategy and less show off. Indians have always pampered the cricketer’s way beyond the game. There are many reasons why India lost the final to Australia. Even after the defeat, the Indian team has proven itself to be one of the greatest ever in ODIs. However, it was also an imperfect team from the beginning.
The stadium was full of celebrities and politicians, including PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. The moment India lost the toss, Australia had the advantage of batting second on a settled pitch with no challenge around, swing, or seam for most of the 2nd inning. India had the best ever World Cup outing as a campaign. But it always comes down to the clutch moments, and sometimes conditions can scuttle plans. But we should adapt. I felt India’s bowling in the final was consistent, but 240 is very hard to defend in the dew. Let’s not take credit away from the Australian team. They played very well; they grabbed the key moments—the hallmark of any winning side.
Australia is a tough opponent in any cricket format, and they have a proven track record of success in World Cups. They are currently ranked number one in the ICC ODI rankings and have a strong batting lineup, a potent bowling attack, and a well-rounded fielding unit. Their experience and ability to perform under pressure make them a serious threat to India’s World Cup aspirations. Moreover, New Zealand is another excellent team, particularly in white-ball cricket. They are the runner-up of the 2019 Cricket World Cup edition, and they possess a destructive batting lineup, a versatile bowling attack, and a dynamic fielding unit. Their ability to score big totals and chase down targets effectively makes them a dangerous opponent for India.
When it comes to India, most players are too overpampered and glorified by the media and diehard fans who don’t have anything in life but cricket. We are too obsessed with the personal records of players, which is not the case with any country or player. As a result, you see every player and whole team was overly optimistic and undervalued opponents. This attitude worked well until the final day. Reality hit hard in the final. Rohit thought he could hit every ball from each bowler out of the stadium. Virat thought of playing a big knock, even if it was in 200 balls. K.L. Rahul couldn’t do much. And finally, the greatest t20 player of all time, SKY, though he is Maxwell to hit every ball with a reverse sweep into the stands.
On the other hand, Australia maintained its cool and did its job. Their fielding was fabulous. Stopping every boundary frustrated Indian players to the core. In the second inning, after taking three wickets, the Indian players were overconfident; they almost thought that they had won the match. Even the people in the stadium were in celebration mode. India almost lost its game here.
Overconfident Indian bowlers kept on giving up extra runs in a rush to take wickets. Once Head and Labuschagne built a good partnership, it was too late. By this time, our egos were punctured but it was too late to do anything. Australia completely outplayed India with their excellent fielding in the first inning. The bowlers were accurate and thanks to their fielding, they were economical. With regard to field placements and bowling, they made plans for each Indian cricketer and executed them successfully. They knew their game and their target. There was tremendous sink and coordination among the players.
The fourth-wicket partnership between Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne completely pulled the tide in their favor. Head took an unbelievable catch from Rohit Sharma that certainly was the turning point of the match. After Rohit’s wicket, India could only score four boundaries in 40 overs after the first powerplay. In the second inning, Indian bowlers began well but lost steam after reducing Australia to 47/3. They looked nervous and hopeless with every passing moment. They failed to show determination on the field. It was evident from their body language that they were already panicking. The presence of the PM and big stars actually created pressure on them; at this point, they were just playing to save their souls, not as sportsmen. Except for Rohit, no one showed courage. 4 boundaries in 40 overs of cricket—that’s where India lost the match.
Besides these two teams, India could face challenges from other strong contenders like New Zealand, South Africa, and Pakistan. However, Australia and England stand out as the most likely threats to India’s World Cup hopes based on their current form and overall strengths.
The entire nation was sad but for a change, this time no cricketer’s wife was verbally assaulted for the loss but the PM was blamed for it. He was tagged as an unlucky person and a bad omen on social media. But still, to control the damage and for the sake of makeover, after the World Cup final, Narendra Modi lauded the Indian men’s cricket team for their 10 consecutive wins in the tournament and asked them to motivate each other as he met them after their loss to Australia. He shared a brief video on social media of his meeting with the squad soon after the final at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium. Even the Indian public was kind to them and people showered their love on the players.