Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Some days after India’s shocking defeat in the final of the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 final against Australia, Men in Blue’s veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has revealed that the soil used to prepare the pitch for the all-important clash at the iconic Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad was like Odisha’s.

“Australia has deceived me, personally. As Australia’s history goes by, they say, ‘we are gonna have a bat, mate!’ after winning the toss in the big finals. I was praying to the lords that Australia should do that, because many people do not understand that the soil in Ahmedabad was like Odisha’s, as in, it played like how any soil taken from the eastern part of the country would play. If every pitch gets a bounce until the knee, this will get bounce only up to the shin. So, the bounce will be less but the soil won’t disintegrate because the clay does not release the moisture but holds it,” Ashwin said on his official YouTube channel.

The senior spinner who had played against Australia in India’s opening match of the World Cup campaign, further stated that he had a chat with the side’s chief selector George Bailey on the decision to bat first, and was left ‘flabbergasted’.

“I was checking out if the pitch was disintegrating at the mid-innings and I met George Bailey, the chief selector. I asked, ‘why didn’t you guys bat first like you always do after winning the toss?’ For that, he answered back, ‘We have played IPL and bilateral series for a long time now, and in our experience, the red soil disintegrates but the black soil gets better to bat on under lights. Dew is not a big impact on red soil whereas black soil pitches are good turners in afternoon, but in night, the pitch solidifies into a patta wicket and plays as though it is made of concrete,” Ashwin said.

“I was flabbergasted listening to that. See, what is happening is that all the experience from the IPL and the bilateral series... India is becoming a central hub of world cricket. They can read the pitch perfectly,” he added.