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Chase or defend: What role toss will play in IND vs AUS 2023 World Cup final? | Cricket

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Chase or defend: What role toss will play in IND vs AUS 2023 World Cup final? | Cricket


Conventional wisdom says teams should bat first and put pressure on their opponent using the scoreboard. That was probably drawn from what had unfolded in the first five ODI World Cups where team defending their total emerged victoriously. But it has been the chasing side who has lifted each of the last three 50-over World Cups and won the past four T20 World Cup titles as well. So on Sunday, in the 2023 World Cup final, will teams want to bat first or want to chase?

What should India opt for if they win the toss in the World Cup final against Australia?
What should India opt for if they win the toss in the World Cup final against Australia?

Australia captain Pat Cummins seemed pretty much in a dilemma over his decision at toss as he spoke to the media on Saturday in Ahmedabad. “You’ve got to weigh up batting during the day when it might be a bit easier than under lights, but knowing that late in the second innings it could also slide on,” said Cummins. “Again, it (dew) might only be the last quarter of the game but once that settles in and the ball is skidding on, it’s quite different.”

How has toss played a role in Ahmedabad so far in this World Cup?

The Narendra Modi Stadium has hosted four World Cup games this year, three of which have been won by the chasing side, which includes India’s win seven-wicket win against Pakistan, who were skittled for just 191 as the home seamers extracted a tad bit movement off the track in the later half of the first innings. India later chased down the match in just 30.3 overs where batting became a lot easier with the dew setting in.

The only exception at the venue was Australia, who won batting first, against a beleaguered England. The defending champions were folded for 253 in their chase of 287. After the match, Adam Zampa had talked about the massive role dew played in that game saying, “Yeah, firstly it got quite wet early actually, probably earlier than we expected it to, but it still felt like for the first 20 or so overs the wicket was holding a little bit and still slightly slow. It was difficult to get wickets, but I think we did really well to get the rate up a little bit, but yeah, it was quite wet.

“The ball got swapped around about the 40 over mark, which we didn’t really ask for, the ball was getting wet when it got hit along the carpet, but it was kind of dryable compared to maybe Chennai in the first game where it was just really wet the whole innings.”

However, while the India game was still more than a month back, the Australia tie was about a fortnight ago. The weather in India has changed and the cooler conditions could have a significant impact in the final.

India captain Rohit Sharma admitted that the temperatures have dropped and the conditions have changed since they last visited the venue, but downplayed the role toss could play in the final. “In terms of the conditions changing, yes the temperatures have dropped a little bit,” said Rohit. “I don’t know how much of a dew factor there will be because in the Pakistan game, when we trained before the game there was a lot of dew, but there was no dew during the game.

Even a few days back at the Wankhede, when we were training there was a lot of dew, on the game day there wasn’t much so that’s why I keep saying the toss is not going to be a factor.” he added.

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