Off The Field

“We Messed Up”: Mohammad Kaif Accuse Rohit Sharma, Rahul Dravid Of ‘Doctoring’ ODI World Cup Final Pitch

Written by Vishwas Gupta

Unbeaten in the tournament until the final, India suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Australia in the summit clash for the ODI World Cup 2023. With India’s loss, ended the dream of millions of people to see the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and others lifting the coveted trophy. While there were several factors behind the team’s loss, one of the biggest ones that has been discussed since the catastrophic result is the nature of the pitch. Many feel that the curator did a little too much to swing the game in India’s favour. Now, former India batter Mohammad Kaif has admitted that the hosts did try to doctor the match, and unfortunately, went overboard.

“I was there for three days. Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid inspected the pitch every day for 3 days ahead of the final. They stood beside the pitch for an hour every day. I saw the pitch change its colour. There was no watering the pitch, no grass on the track. India wanted to give Australia a slow track. This is the truth, even if people don’t want to believe it,” Kaif said on Lallantop in an interview.

It was India captain Rohit Sharma who won the toss and opted to bat first. Australia Pat Cummins, on the other hand, was happy to bowl first, knowing that the pitch is likely to get better as the day progressed.

“The feeling was that Australia had Pat Cummins, and Mitchell Starc, so India wanted to give a slow pitch, and that was our mistake. Many people say that curators do their own thing and we don’t influence – that is rubbish. When you are moving around the pitch – you have to say just two lines – please don’t put water, just reduce the grass. This happens. That is truth. And it should be done. You are playing at home. And we did it a little too much,” Kaif added.

“Cummins took the learning from Chennai that batting is tough at the start in a slow match. Nobody fields first in a final, but Cummins did. We messed up while doctoring the pitch,” Kaif concluded.

About the author

Vishwas Gupta