ANI Photo | “This was not a 469 pitch”, remarks Rahul Dravid after India’s loss to Australia in WTC final

Following his side’s ICC World Test Championship final loss to Australia, Indian head coach Rahul Dravid said that the pitch was not a “469 pitch”.
After dominating India over the course of five days Australia secured their maiden World Test Championship 2023 title on Sunday at the Oval, London. India succumbed to a score of 234 in 63.3 overs while chasing 444, with Mohammad Shami as the last player standing with a score of 13(8)*.
“It was obviously difficult (the target). There is always hope no matter how far we are behind. I have seen many Tests over the last two years where we have fought hard in difficult situations. Needed a big partnership, we had the big players for it, but they (Australia) had the upper hand. This can happen. It was not a 469 pitch. Gave away too many in the last session (on Day 1). We knew what lines and lengths to bowl. Our lengths were not bad but we probably bowled too wide. Gave room to Head (Travis Head),” Dravid told Star Sports after the loss.
“Some of the shots we played, maybe we could have been more careful. There was a lot of grass on the wicket, and the conditions were cloudy (on bowling first). We have seen in England batting gets easier. There was not much help on Day four or five if you saw. We got them on 70/3, but then let it slip away. Even the last time we played at Edgbaston, pitch got easier to bat. 300-plus was chased. Our top five are all very experienced (On batters not performing). By their own high standards. These same players have won in Australia, in England. This is not upto their high standards. Some of the wickets have been quite challenging. This was a good pitch I will admit,” he added.
Coming to the match, India started day five at 164/3, with Virat Kohli (44*) and Ajinkya Rahane (20*) unbeaten at the crease.
However, a game-changing over by Scott Boland, which saw him trap Virat for 49 and Ravindra Jadeja for a duck, started India’s downfall. Rahane was dismissed by Mitchell Starc for 46 while Srikar Bharat (23) was dismissed by Nathan Lyon.
The Indian batting line-up failed to put up a fight, bundling out for 234 runs in 63.3 overs to hand Australia their first-ever WTC title.
Lyon was the pick of the bowlers for Australia, taking 4/41. Boland took 3/46 while Starc got two wickets. Skipper Pat Cummins got one wicket.
On day four, India ended at 164/3, with Virat Kohli (44*) and Ajinkya Rahane (20*) unbeaten at the crease. Skipper Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill (18) gave the team a brisk start with a 41-run opening stand, but a contentional catch by Cameron Green on Boland’s delivery ended the partnership.
A 51-run stand between Rohit and Cheteshwar Pujara helped India carry forward the chase with attacking intent. But Lyon dismissed Rohit for 43 and Cummins removed Pujara for 27 to reduce India to 93/3. From that point on, Rahane and Virat formed a 71-run stand to end the fourth day strongly.
Australia declared their innings at 270/8, gaining a lead of 443 runs. Australia was restricted to 24/2 at one point, but Marnus Labuschagne (41) and Steve Smith (34) brought back Australia into the game. Later, contributions from middle-order/lower-middle-order players like Cameron Green (25), a half-century from wicketkeeper-batter Alex Carey (60*) and his 93-run stand with Mitchell Starc (41) increased Australia’s lead over India.
Ravindra Jadeja was the pick of the bowlers for India, taking 3/58. Umesh Yadav (2/54) and Mohammed Shami (2/39) got two wickets each while Mohammed Siraj got one scalp.
In their first innings, India was bundled out for 296 runs. India trailed Australia by 173 runs, who had scored 469 runs in their first innings.
India’s top order failed in their first innings. Rohit Sharma (15), Shubman Gill (13), Cheteshwar Pujara (14) and Virat Kohli (14) failed to post big scores. But contributions from comeback man Ajinkya Rahane (89 in 129 balls, 11 fours and a six), Shardul Thakur (51 in 109 balls with six fours) and Ravindra Jadeja (48 in 51 balls with seven fours and a six) helped India put on a fight after being restricted to 71/4.
Pat Cummins (3/83), Nathan Lyon (2/19), Cameron Green (2/44), Scott Boland (2/59) and Mitchell Starc (2/71) were among the wickets for Australia.
Australia’s 469 runs in the first innings were powered largely by centuries from Travis Head (163 in 174 balls, 25 fours and a six), and Steve Smith (121 in 268 balls, 19 fours). David Warner (43) and Marnus Labuschagne (26) made notable contributions, but Australia was reduced to 76/3. From that point, Head and Smith attacked Indian bowlers, hitting their centuries. Later in the innings, Alex Carey also provided some much-needed extra runs with a knock of 48.
Siraj (4/108) was the leading bowler for India in the first innings. Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Shami got two wickets while Jadeja got one.
Travis Head was given the ‘Player of the Match’ title for his attacking 163.
Brief Scores: Australia: 469 and 270/8 (Alex Carey 60*, Marnus Labuschagne 41, Ravindra Jadeja 3/58) won over India: 296 and 234 (Virat Kohli 49, Rohit Sharma 43, Nathan Lyon 4/41). (ANI)

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