Ravichandran Ashwin stated that the soil used to prepare the pitch for the ODI World Cup 2023 final resembled that of Odisha.

In the aftermath of India’s stunning defeat in the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 final against Australia, veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has unveiled a revelation that adds a new layer of intrigue to the contest. Ashwin, on his official YouTube channel, disclosed that the soil used to prepare the pitch at the iconic Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad for the crucial clash resembled that of Odisha, a region known for its unique playing conditions.

Expressing his sentiments, Ashwin remarked, “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.”

Ashwin elaborated on the distinctive characteristics of the soil, emphasizing its impact on the game. “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,” he added, providing a unique insight into the subtleties of pitch preparation.

The seasoned spinner, who had faced Australia in India’s opening match of the World Cup campaign, revealed a conversation with George Bailey, the chief selector of the Australian side, regarding their decision to bat first. Ashwin expressed his astonishment at Bailey’s explanation, saying, “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.'”

Bailey’s insight into the soil dynamics and its behavior under different conditions left Ashwin flabbergasted. The off-spinner shared Bailey’s perspective, stating, “Dew is not a big impact on red soil, whereas black soil pitches are good turners in the afternoon, but in the night, the pitch solidifies into a patta wicket and plays as though it is made of concrete.”

Ashwin further underscored the evolving dynamics of cricket in India, asserting that the country has become a central hub of world cricket. He attributed this to the collective experience gained from events like the Indian Premier League (IPL) and bilateral series, enabling Indian players and cricket experts to read pitches with precision.

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The revelation by Ashwin raises intriguing questions about the level of preparation and strategic thinking that goes into a high-stakes cricket match. It sheds light on the meticulous analysis of pitch conditions, a factor often underestimated by casual observers. The fact that teams are not only considering the toss but also the nature of the soil and its behavior throughout the game indicates a heightened awareness among players and selectors about the nuances that can influence match outcomes.

As cricket continues to evolve, with players and teams adapting to changing conditions, Ashwin’s insights provide fans and enthusiasts with a deeper appreciation for the subtle elements that can shape the destiny of a cricket match. The revelation about the Odisha-like soil in Ahmedabad adds a fascinating dimension to the post-mortem of India’s World Cup final loss and invites a broader conversation about the evolving dynamics of the game on the world stage.

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