In a post-World Cup analysis, R Ashwin unveils the pivotal role of Australia’s captain, Pat Cummins, in steering his team to their sixth World Cup victory.
Ashwin praises Cummins’ strategic brilliance and flawless execution, shedding light on the bowler’s tactical adaptation in the lead-up to the final.
Tactical Brilliance on Display
Ashwin details Cummins’ journey from an ODI bowler struggling for form to a key player employing a unique strategy.
Cummins’ use of cutters, comprising nearly 50% of his deliveries leading to the final, showcased his adaptability and tactical prowess.
During the crucial match, Cummins bowled to a leg-side field, resembling that of an offspinner, without a mid-off.
The Unconventional Field Setup
Despite the predominantly leg-side field and the absence of a mid-off, Cummins remarkably didn’t concede a single boundary, finishing with figures of 2 for 34.
Ashwin acknowledges the difficulty in executing such plans, especially in ODIs where the umpires are stringent with wide calls.
Cummins’ ability to stick to the plan, deny batsmen driving opportunities, and maintain a disciplined line showcased a level of tactical execution rarely witnessed in one-day games.
Decoding Australia’s Decision to Bowl First
Ashwin provides insights into Australia’s decision to bowl first in the final, a move that raised eyebrows.
The slow pitch played a significant role in Cummins and other Australian fast bowlers deploying cutters.
Ashwin reveals a conversation with Australia’s chief selector, George Bailey, who explained that their experience in India favored batting on black soil under lights, as opposed to red soil.
This decision, rooted in years of IPL and bilateral series experience, proved instrumental in Australia’s triumph.
Concerns Over the Quality of the White Kookaburra Ball
Ashwin doesn’t confine his analysis to the players’ performances but also scrutinizes the equipment.
He raises concerns about the white Kookaburra ball used in bilateral series and IPL, pointing out its tendency to lose shape and absorb moisture.
Drawing a comparison with the balls used in ICC events, Ashwin advocates for uniformity in ball quality to ensure a fair evaluation of players during bilateral series and IPL.
In conclusion, Ashwin’s analysis goes beyond the surface, unraveling the layers of tactical brilliance, strategic decisions, and equipment concerns that played a role in the outcome of the World Cup final.