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‘I got stuck. We could’ve won 2023 WC if…’: Emotional KL Rahul reveals ‘confusion’ vs Starc, expresses ‘regret’ | Cricket

November 19, 2023, is a date that sends Indian cricket fans into an instant spur of sadness; it was the day when Team India, after 10 successive wins at the ODI World Cup, failed in the final frontier, conceding the title to Australia. In a fairly one-sided final match in Ahmedabad, Pat Cummins’ Australia lifted the World Cup trophy as they defeated India by six wickets.

India’s KL Rahul reacts after losing the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 final match against Australia.(ICC Twitter)

KL Rahul, one of the Team India stars who were part of the XI, has finally opened up on the disappointing loss in Ahmedabad as he reminisced about his innings in the final. India endured a poor batting performance despite a strong start; following captain Rohit Sharma’s wicket in the tenth over, India’s scoring rate fell drastically, with Rahul and Virat Kohli failing to find boundaries. 

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While Kohli was dismissed on 54 off 63 balls, Rahul’s struggles were prominent, as he hit only one four throughout his 107-ball stay at the crease. He scored 66 runs and was dismissed by Mitchell Starc in the 42nd over, as the Aussie pacer denied Rahul the chance to switch the gears.

In a chat with Ravichandran Ashwin, Rahul stated that if he had the opportunity, he would replay his innings against Australia all over again. The 31-year-old batter stated that he could’ve added “30-40” more runs if he had stayed, which could’ve changed the result of the game.  

“The first thing that comes to my mind is the 2023 World Cup final in Ahmedabad against Australia. I was just stuck in that moment on whether I (should) take down Mitchell Starc. It (ball) was reversing, and he was bowling from a difficult angle for me to attack him. So, I was just stuck in between, on whether to attack and play him and take a chance… and in that confusion, I ended up nicking the ball and getting out at a crucial time,” Rahul said. 

“I felt like I had continued that innings and gone on to play the rest of the 12 overs (8) or whatever was left, we could have probably gotten 30-40 runs more, and we could’ve had a World Cup in our hands. That’s something I regret,” said Rahul further.

Ashwin wasn’t a part of the XI, but he was in the squad and had also played the opening match of the World Cup – also against Australia.

India were bowled out for 240 in exactly 50 overs, and a century from Travis Head steered the Aussies to a commanding six-wicket win in Ahmedabad. This was Australia’s sixth World Cup title.

Rahul currently with LSG

Since the World Cup, Rahul took part in the tour to South Africa and the home Test series against England but was ruled out after the first Test due to an injury. He eventually made a comeback to the sport in IPL 2024 with the Lucknow Super Giants, where he is the captain.

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