Mohammad Kaif, known for his outspoken remarks, stirred controversy once more by asserting that the “better team on field, and on paper” emerged victorious as India clinched the T20I series 4-1 against Australia. His comments immediately faced backlash from Indian fans, marking a continuation of the criticism he received for his take on the ICC World Cup 2023.
India secured their second victory in the series with a 6-run win in Bengaluru, defending a target of 161. Axar Patel, named Player of the Match for the second consecutive time, played a pivotal role in India’s success. Ravi Bishnoi was honored with the Player of the Series award.
Kaif’s post-match statement read, “Better talent, better skills. This time the better team on field, and on paper, won. 4-1.”
However, Indian fans swiftly schooled Kaif on social media, expressing their disagreement with his assessment. The cricketer-turned-commentator faced similar criticism earlier when he suggested that the best team did not win the ICC World Cup 2023.
In a thrilling finale at Bengaluru, India emerged victorious against Australia by a narrow margin of six runs in the fifth and final T20I. Opting to bat first, India posted a total of 160/8 in their 20 overs. Shreyas Iyer was the batting linchpin, contributing a resilient 53 runs off 37 balls, supported by Jitesh Sharma’s quick 24 and Axar Patel’s brisk 31.
Australia, chasing a target of 161, faced early setbacks as Mukesh Kumar and Ravi Bishnoi dismissed openers Travis Head and Josh Phillipe within the powerplay. Despite a strong partnership between Tim David (17) and Ben McDermott (54), Axar Patel’s crucial breakthroughs and Mukesh Kumar’s timely strikes kept the pressure on Australia. In the final over, Arshdeep Singh removed Matthew Wade, and Australia fell short, managing 154/8.
India’s fast start was tempered by Australia’s effective bowling, with Jason Behrendorff and Ben Dwarshuis claiming key wickets. Tanveer Sangha’s spin added to India’s woes, removing Rinku Singh. Ultimately, India’s disciplined bowling and strategic breakthroughs secured the victory, capping an engaging T20 series.