'He Built Pressure On Kohli'- Mohammad Amir Blames KL Rahul For IND's WC Final Defeat
Virat Kohli with KL Rahul [AP]
In a shocking turn of events, the unbeaten Indian cricket team lost the ICC Mens ODI Cricket World Cup 2023 finals to five-time champions Australia. The stage was set at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad for the epic clash as fans and influential people from across the globe witnessed the cricket carnival.
However, the night of the finals turned into an absolute horror show for the home side. After setting up a below-par total in the first innings, the in-form bowling unit failed to defend the target. Travis Head came out all guns blazing and led his team from the front to put up a magnificent century.
Many things went wrong for India on the eve of the finals. From coin toss to half chances to marginal umpire call decisions, not once did luck favour the home side.
That being said, former Pakistan pace Mohammad Amir expressed a different narrative explaining events leading to India's heartbreaking loss to Australia. He pinned the blame on middle order batter KL Rahul whilst slamming him for playing a slow innings.
Amir explained how Rahul lacked intent, and his approach stayed defensive throughout his 66 runs innings. The pacer further added that the wicketkeeper's conservative approach planted additional pressure on Virat Kohli, who ultimately succumbed under pressure to accelerate the pace of the innings.
"I don't know, for whatever reason, Rahul played a very slow innings. He built the pressure on Kohli. He (Rahul) is not a player who plays slowly. He plays with a good strike. I feel that destroyed the Indian innings," Amir said.
Amir conveniently said that KL Rahul's slow innings perhaps destroyed India's winning odds. Later, the pacer covered it up, saying KL was not in his natural element. He played against his natural style, and perhaps the pressure of the big finals got the better of him.
KL Rahul and Virat Kohli were the only batters to cross the 50 runs figure in the first innings. While Rahul's approach could be a debatable topic, the lack of partnerships definitely hurt India.
That's an area where Australia emerged as a better side as Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne registered a 192-run partnership to completely oust the Indian side from the pivotal contest.