Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bowl first at The Oval, citing overcast conditions and green grass on the pitch. However, after the first hour of the match, the clouds cleared up and it was bright sunshine for the remainder of the match which India lost by a massive margin of 209 runs.
After electing to bowl first, India had a good start and had Australia in a bit of a pickle at 76/3. However, after that the conditions eased out for batting and Travis Head and Steve Smith hammered the Indian bowlers in a match-winning partnership of 285 runs with both batters notching up their respective hundreds.
Mohammad Hafeez reckons the big cause of India’s loss in the final was Rohit Sharma not being “brave” enough to bat first in a big final.
“Winning the toss but not taking the brave way to start with is actually caused all the problems for @BCCI #WTC2023Final,” Hafeez tweeted following India’s defeat at The Oval.
In the post-match presentation, India captain Rohit Sharma rued the bowling performance on Day 1 that allowed Head and Smith to run away with the match, their partnership helping Australia post a big total of 469 runs. He said that he and the bowlers were taken “off guard a little bit” by Head’s counter-attack.
“I thought we started well with winning the toss, putting them to bat in those conditions. We bowled well in the first session and then we let ourselves down with how we bowled. Got to give credit to the Australian batters. Head came in and played really well along with Steven Smith. That just took us off guard a little bit,” Rohit Sharma said.
Rohit Sharma praised his side for keeping the game alive till Day 5 and for their work over the past two years.
“We knew it was always hard to comeback, but we put up a good show. We fought till the end. We’ve worked hard for all those four years. Playing two finals is honestly a good achievement for us. But we’d like to go a mile ahead as well. You can’t take the credit away from what we’ve done in those last two years to come here. Great effort from the entire unit. Unfortunate that we couldn’t go on and win the final but we’ll keep our heads high and fight,” the skipper added.