We were not defensive: Dravid on India’s batting approach in World Cup final

Ahmedabad: The star-studded Indian batting unit faltered on the biggest stage but head coach Rahul Dravid backed his players, saying they were not defensive and game circumstances dictated how the batters went about their job.

India managed a below-par 240 against Australia in the World Cup final here on Sunday, and Pat Cummins’ team gunned down the target in 43 overs to secure a record-extending sixth World Cup title.

After losing three wickets for 81 runs, Virat Kohli (54 off 63) and K L Rahul (66 off 107) went on consolidation mode in the middle overs where the hosts could only find the boundary twice.

“We played fearless cricket, we had 80 runs in the first powerplay. Sometimes, you have to rebuild innings after losing a few wickets, we were not defensive,” a disappointed Dravid told reporters in the post-match press conference.

India, who last won an ICC trophy in 2013, has not been able to win a title in the Rohit Sharma-Rahul Dravid era that began after the 2021 T20 World Cup debacle in November.

Dravid’s tenure was till the ODI World Cup and when asked about his future, he was non-committal.

“I have not given any thought to next year’s T20 World Cup, I don’t know what’s there in future,” said Dravid referring to the T20 World Cup in the USA and the Caribbean in six months.

India was on a roll in this tournament until their juggernaut was ended by an all-round Australia, who know how to excel on the biggest stage.

Skipper Rohit Sharma led from the front with his bold stroke-play throughout the competition and Dravid was all praise for him and the team.

“Rohit has been an exceptional leader, always committed to planning, and gave personal time and energy to this campaign. There is disappointment, but this team has given a lot of joy in the past couple of months “Of course, Rohit and team is disappointed, and it is tough to see the emotion as coach in that dressing room. But the sun will come up tomorrow, and as sportsmen, we move on,” he added.