“They overcooked it”: Criticism directed at India as Craddock rates World Cup win as Australia’s best
Veteran journalist Robert ‘Crash’ Craddock believes India “overcooked” the preparation of the pitch for the World Cup Final against Australia in Ahmedabad.
Australian captain Pat Cummins elected to bowl first when winning the toss at the Narendra Modi Stadium after the team obtained data which suggested that batting second would suit.
The Aussies, coached by Andrew McDonald, restricted India to 240 before Travis Head piled on a century in a successful run chase of 4/241 which delivered a sixth World Cup title.
Craddock attempted to explain what would have been going through the mind of both Cummins and India skipper Rohit Sharma when the pre-game toss was conducted.
“They (the Aussies) got striking data that after dark, the spinners and the fast bowlers had horrendous records in this World Cup,” Craddock said on SENQ Breakfast.
“It was a bowling average of 40 and 50 per wicket, whereas in daylight hours it was terrific. That prompted them to think that this wicket obviously improves and a hint of dew makes it easier to bat.
“But still having said that, we must be reminded that Rohit Sharma just said flat out at the toss what I was thinking and a million other fans were thinking - in finals you put runs on the board. He said we would have batted first.
“Cummins had one of the great games by an Australian cricket captain. 22 bowling changes, between overs 20 and 40 there were two boundaries, there were some brilliant little subplots in that game.”
Regarding the playing surface specifically, Craddock feels the BCCI and the Indian team erred with the preparation of the pitch.
“You know what? Tough titties, India,” he added.
“They overcooked it. A simple, flat pitch, they probably would have won that game.
“But this ugly, two-toned wicket, Australia read it beautifully, they really did.”
He also believes that this triumph was the best by an Australian team in the shorter format of the game.
Up against a star-studded Indian side on the back of 10 straight wins, in front of a partisan crowd of 100,000-plus and on a pitch made to order, the Aussies reigned supreme.
“I can’t think of a better win by Australia in coloured clothes,” he said further.
“One: the size of the crowd. Two: the doctored pitch. Three: an Indian team who had the top three bowling averages in the tournament and three of the top four batting averages. Unbeaten, the biggest crowd ever in cricket.
“I can’t find the win that beats it.”
Craddock added on SEN’s Whateley: “To not just beat them but to thrash them, that is the best white-ball victory we have had.
“It was an astonishing result.”
The triumph was Australia’s sixth in a World Cup Final, adding to the trophies won in 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2015.
Head was named Player of the Match for his efforts, while Indian superstar Virat Kohli was named Player of the Tournament.