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Champions Trophy 2017: Unlike India, Australia Would Have Batted First in a Big Final, Says Adam Gilchrist

PTI | Updated: June 19, 2017, 3:59 PM IST
Champions Trophy 2017: Unlike India, Australia Would Have Batted First in a Big Final, Says Adam Gilchrist

Virat Kohli of India leaves the field after being dismissed during the ICC Champions Trophy final match between India and Pakistan at the Kia Oval cricket ground. (Getty Images)

New Delhi: Virat Kohli was not wrong in his decision to bowl first on a flat track but Adam Gilchrist, a member of the all-conquering Australian team, feels opting to bat was the way to go in a big game like the Champions Trophy final.

Gilchrist could only watch the toss of the final yesterday as he was flying in to New Delhi this morning but said the great Australian team of yesteryear would have preferred batting first.

Pakistan outplayed India by 180 runs to win their maiden title. The Indian bowlers struggled before the high profile batting crumbled under pressure while chasing 338 for four.

"Just before I flew out of Perth yesterday, I saw the toss happening. Mine and Australian team's natural inclination is to bat first and try and get the score board pressure going," said Gilchrist, who is also Australia's education ambassador to India.

"Having said that, if most of the games are won while chasing, like it happened in this tournament, you can't really criticise the decision to bowl," he said referring to the tournament trend which saw chasing teams winning 9 of the 15 matches.

"India are very comfortable chasing and have done well chasing. You cannot criticise them for that decision. The century maker (Fakhar Zaman) was caught off a no ball, else it could have been a different game," said the former wicketkeeper-batsman.

Gilchrist said the way Pakistan played, there wasn't much fault to be found with India.

"Pakistan played what seems to be a perfect game of cricket. India, after a very impressive tournament, just got caught out on the big final day. That can happen.

"We, as an Australian team, used to focus on building up to be ready to be the best in the final. India have proven themselves by winning all the major ICC trophies. So I don't think there is any issue with India in the big games.

"This Indian team is a very good team, very competitive and did well to reach the final. They just came up against a Pakistani side which almost played a perfect one off game," said the southpaw.

Gilchrist was happy for Pakistan, a country that has not hosted a full international series since the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked by terrorists in Lahore in 2009.

"Deep in your heart, as a cricket lover you can't be disappointed to see a nation like that. We all know their struggles of not getting any international cricket back home.

"They are basically a nomadic team which plays abroad. Perhaps because of that they were able to adjust well in those conditions.

"As they said, the only predictable thing about Pakistan cricket is that they are unpredictable. We shouldn't be surprised by what happened. It is like the West Indies winning World T20 despite their issues with the cricket board. It is certainly a positive story for cricket," said Gilchrist.
First Published: June 19, 2017, 3:59 PM IST

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