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Pat Cummins’ captaincy made the difference: Suresh Raina

Pat Cummins’ captaincy proved the difference between India and Australia in the final of the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup in Ahmedabad the Aussies won by six wickets and claimed their sixth World Cup title. In a column for the website of the International Cricket Council (ICC), Cummins’ captaincy especially his bowling changes swung the game in Australia’s favor.

“What swung the game in Australia’s favor was Pat Cummins’ captaincy. The way he brought Glenn Maxwell into the attack to get the wicket of Rohit Sharma with a brilliant catch from Travis Head was very smart. Adam Zampa was great too, as was Cummins himself in dismissing Virat Kohli,” wrote Raina in a column, saying Australia outplayed India and were very solid in their planning.

“I think Cummins showed real temperament in his captaincy. He changed his bowlers knowing he could put pressure on each India batter even though they were all in such good form. His tactics made all the difference and his planning and execution was perfect,” Raina said.

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The former India star, a member of the 2011 World Cup-winning Indian team, said that Australia’s superb fielding too played a huge role in their victory. “Another big factor was Australia’s fielding, I think they saved 30 to 40 runs. From ball one, they were saving a lot of singles and boundaries. There was Travis’s catch and some excellent work in the deep from David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne,” said Raina.

Raina also noted that the Indians could not put pressure on Australia after reducing them to 47/3. He praised Travis Head for changing the direction of the match with his batting. “If you look at Australia’s innings, they were 47 for three, but India couldn’t put the pressure on because they were only defending 241 and then Travis Head played the best knock of the World Cup to change the direction of the game with his positive batting.

“Credit goes to Travis and Marnus, the way they played when the pressure started to come back onto Australia showed they know how to win an ICC trophy. The Chennai Super Kings legend felt that the Australian bowlers used the pitch and the conditions well.

“India looked very good from a bowling point of view but were left disappointed because they didn’t understand the wicket,” he said. “It was very dry and they couldn’t keep pressure on with the bat because Australia bowled a lot of short balls and deliveries into the wicket which meant India couldn’t rotate the strike. Rohit’s wicket was a turning point and there were not enough runs on the board, especially when you’re used to making totals of up to 400,” said Raina.

The 36-year-old left-hander said Glenn Maxwell’s sensational double century against Afghanistan was a turning point for Australia. “Glenn Maxwell’s double century against Afghanistan gave them the belief they could win the World Cup because when one player performs that well, everyone else wants to do the same for their country. Travis believed he could do it in the final and he did.

Raina noted that Afghanistan and the Netherlands impressed him with their upset wins. “Afghanistan and the Netherlands both really impressed me and New Zealand did well too. We saw a lot of great individual performances from Bas de Leede and Paul van Meekeren of the Netherlands, to Rachin Ravindra of New Zealand and Mohammad Wasim of Pakistan, who looked very promising,” said Raina.

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