“They panicked a bit…”: Wasim Akram Slammed Indian Management’s Decision To Give Shami New Ball In ICC World Cup 2023 Final

    The aftermath of the ICC World Cup 2023 final has sparked discussions among cricket enthusiasts, with former Pakistan cricketer Wasim Akram sharing his insights on India’s performance. Akram emphasized that India, in their bid to defend a modest total, exhibited signs of panic and suggested a strategic change in bowling dynamics.

    India, led by Rohit Sharma, faced a disheartening defeat against Australia in the final, losing by 6 wickets and extending their ICC title drought. Wasim Akram pointed out that the Men in Blue might have succumbed to pressure on the significant occasion, leading to decisions that, in retrospect, might have been different.

    Akram highlighted a key element in India’s bowling strategy that caught his attention. He suggested that Mohammed Siraj, known for his ability to swing the ball effectively, should have been given the new ball alongside the experienced Mohammed Shami. The decision to open with Shami did not yield the desired control on the swing and resulted in some wides.

    Wasim explained, “They panicked a bit. I understand that he [Shami] has dismissed many left-handers and has bowled brilliantly from round the wicket. Travis Head survived against him. You must have noted that Shami bowled a couple of wide balls. I feel Siraj should have bowled 2-3 overs at the start just because of his swing.”

    While acknowledging Shami’s prowess in dismissing left-handers and his excellent performance on the league stage, Akram emphasized that the fast bowler, aware that he typically comes in as the first change, might have approached the new ball differently. The cricket legend believed that introducing Siraj for 2-3 overs at the start, leveraging his swing, could have provided a different dynamic to India’s bowling attack.

    Akram commended the out-of-the-box thinking in giving Shami the new ball but underscored the importance of Siraj’s potential impact, especially considering the swing conditions. He suggested that Siraj’s inclusion in the initial overs might have added a psychological edge to India’s bowling strategy.

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    Wasim further added, “Psychologically, Shami knew that he comes first change, so the ball is controllable as it is a little old. Giving him the new ball in the World Cup final, out of the box thinking, I am all for it. But Siraj should have bowled 2-3 overs at the start. If nothing had happened, Shami could have been brought on.”

    Travis Head’s explosive century and Marnus Labuschagne’s support guided Australia to a comfortable victory. Akram’s analysis prompts reflection on strategic decisions and the psychological aspects of the game. As cricket enthusiasts dissect the final, Wasim Akram’s observations add depth to the evaluation of India’s performance in the World Cup finale.

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