Gautam Gambhir Criticizes KL Rahul’s Defensive Approach in World Cup Final

India’s quest for a third World Cup title ended in disappointment as Australia secured victory by six wickets in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 final at Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad. After posting a below-par total of 240 in their 50 overs, India faced defeat despite a splendid hundred by Travis Head (137 off 120) that guided Australia to their sixth World Cup title.

Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir expressed strong dissatisfaction with the Indian batters, criticizing their lack of aggression in the middle overs. Despite a promising start by captain Rohit Sharma (47 off 31), the middle-order, including KL Rahul (66 off 107), Ravindra Jadeja (9 off 22), and Suryakumar Yadav (18 off 28), failed to accelerate, resulting in a below-par score for India.

Gambhir, in an interview with Sportskeeda, emphasized the need for courage in approaching the game, stating, “It’s a double-edged sword. But I have always said this, the most courageous team will go on to win the World Cup.” He highlighted the extended period between the 11th and 40th overs as a crucial time for taking risks and expressed disappointment in the team’s overall lack of bravery.

Specifically, Gambhir pointed out that KL Rahul should have been more aggressive during his partnership with Virat Kohli, where the duo added 67 runs off 109 balls for the fourth wicket. Gambhir argued that India’s total of 240 was insufficient in the modern era, emphasizing the need for 300-plus totals for success.

India’s timid approach in the middle overs allowed Australian bowlers, including Adam Zampa, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Marsh, and Travis Head, to bowl economically. This, coupled with India’s failure to take on the spinners, contributed to Australia’s comfortable chase and shattered India’s hopes of winning the World Cup on home soil.

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