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'No Watering, No Grass' - Kaif Exposes How Rohit & Dravid's Pitch Plan Backfired In WC Final

The 2023 World Cup final pitch was criticised heavily [X]The 2023 World Cup final pitch was criticised heavily [X]

Team India's dream run in the ICC World Cup 2023 was stopped in a final that could only be described as a night of long knives at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. 

Under the leadership of Rohit Sharma, the Indian team's aspiration to clinch the ICC title, a thirst unquenched since 2013, faced a stark downfall against an Australian squad that seemed destined to rewrite the ending of India's fairytale streak of ten consecutive wins.

Kaif reveals Rohit and Dravid's pitch fiasco

The pitch played a massive part in India's undoing. Its slow nature acted as quicksand, dragging down the hosts to a modest total of 240 runs, which the Aussies chased easily, riding on Travis Head's masterclass

The aftermath of the defeat saw a flurry of discussions, with fingers pointed at the pitch's slow character, which many believed to be a tactical ploy gone awry.

In a massive revelation on Guest in the Newsroom on The LallanTop, former Indian batsman Mohammed Kaif, turned cricket analyst, threw light on the alleged behind-the-scenes machinations by Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid.

“I was there for three days, did a lot of shows. Rohit Sharma came in the evening with Dravid, went to the pitch, stood there for an hour and went back. They came again on the second day, and did the same thing. This went on for three days, and I saw the colour of that pitch change," said Kaif.

Kaif, sparing no details, spoke about the pitch's transformation. The strategy, aimed at clipping the wings of the Australian quicks, Mitchell Starc and Cummins, was laid bare as a miscalculated gambit that ultimately cost India the World Cup

He lambasted the post-match excuses, highlighting that the decision to alter the pitch's character was a clear, albeit misguided, attempt to gain a home advantage.

"No watering, no grass. It became a very slow pitch. This is the truth. There were Cummins and Starc, they bowled quick, and the thought was to give them a slow pitch, and they did make a mistake there," said the former India batter.

Reflecting on the tactical nuances of the match, Mohammad Kaif pointed out Cummins' decision to chase, a lesson learned from a previous encounter in Chennai where India had won. 

He lamented the 'doctoring' of the pitch as the weak spot for an Indian team that, on a day without such tampering, would have likely leveraged their form to emerge victorious. According to Kaif, the pitch's condition was a self-inflicted wound.