Sun, 03 Dec 2023

Karachi [Pakistan], November 21 (ANI): Following India's six-wicket loss against Australia in the ODI World Cup 2023 final match on Sunday, former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik said that KL Rahul was trying to bat through the 50 overs.

Speaking on a Pakistani-based channel, A Sports, Malik said that Rahul should have rotated his strike since boundaries weren't coming.

"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," Malik said on A Sports.

The former right-handed batter added that the Indian wicketkeeper-batter should have been more proactive against Australia in the ODI World Cup 2023 final match.

"He has been taking a lot of responsibility when India loses quick wickets upfront. If you will see his innings (against Australia) 66 off 107 balls, it was not a KL Rahul innings. He went into a zone, where he only wanted to play the whole fifty overs. He should have been a little more proactive," he added.

He explained that the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad had long side boundaries and the Aussie players used it well against the 'Men in Blue'.

He also added that the World Cup 2023 winners assessed that Indian conditions better than the hosts.

"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.

Coming to the match, India bundled out on a score of 240 in 50 overs. On a tough batting surface, skipper Rohit Sharma (47 in 31 balls, with four boundaries and three sixes), Virat Kohli (54 in 63 balls, with four boundaries) and KL Rahul (66 in 107 balls, with one four) posted important knocks.

Mitchell Starc (3/55) was the pick of the bowlers for Australia. Skipper Pat Cummins (2/34) and Josh Hazlewood (2/60) also bowled well. Adam Zampa and Glenn Maxwell got a wicket each.

While chasing 241, India had the Aussies down at 47/3. Knocks from Travis Head (137 in 120 balls, with 15 fours and four sixes) and Marnus Labuschagne (58 in 110 balls, with four boundaries) left the Indian team without answers and guided them to a six-wicket win.

The World Cup finalists will now compete in a five-match T20I series which will begin on Thursday in Visakhapatnam. (ANI)

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