World Cup Final: KL Rahul should have looked to score vs Australia, Shoaib Malik criticises batter for knock vs AUS
Former Pakistan batter Shoaib Malik has criticised India wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul for his approach in the final of the World Cup 2023. Rahul scored a patient 66 off 107 on a slow track at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday, after the Indian team was sent to bat first in the summit clash.
India were able to get quickly off the blocks, but Australia put in a monumental effort to put a chokehold on the Indian batting unit.
Virat Kohli and KL Rahul put together a partnership in the middle overs after India lost two quick wickets of Rohit Sharma and Shreyas Iyer between the 10th and 11th over. Their partnership added a crucial 67 runs for the fourth wicket, with both players showcasing their ability to anchor an innings under pressure. Kohli, consistent throughout the tournament, scored a resilient half-century, contributing 54 runs to the team’s total. Rahul, on the other hand, played a patient knock, top-scoring for India with 66 runs off 107 balls.
Despite their efforts, the scoring rate remained a concern as the duo could only manage 50 runs from 88 balls, allowing Australia to tighten their grip on the match. As the Australian bowlers executed their plans with precision, India’s middle and lower order struggled to accelerate. The team lost its last five wickets for a mere 37 runs, ending the innings with a sense of unfulfilled potential with 240 runs on board.
“KL Rahul was just trying to bat through the 50 overs. He should not have done that and should have tried to play his game. If you’re batting in tough conditions and the boundaries aren’t coming easily, then at least you’ve got to rotate strike. That wasn’t happening, there were a lot of dot balls,” Shoaib Malik said while speaking on A Sports.
The Pakistan cricketer further lauded the Australian bowlers for using the dimensions well and for bowling smart lines and lengths to the Indian batting line-up.
“The venue in which this match was played had long side boundaries. The Australian utilised these boundaries very well. They said we won’t let you hit us down the ground and you can hit us square of the wicket. Their bowlers used variations very well. The Australians assessed the Indian conditions better than the Indians and then executed their plans,” Malik further added.
Australia defeated India by 6 wickets in the final of World Cup 2023.
First appeared on www.indiatoday.in