Former cricketer Mohammad Kaif received widespread flak for claiming that while Australia won the 2023 ODI World Cup, India were the strongest team on paper at the showpiece event.
Kaif once again used the same remark, albeit praising Australia this time, following the side’s 79-run victory over India in the recently concluded ICC U-19 World Cup final at Willowmoore Park on Sunday, February 11.
India’s unbeaten run at the U-19 World Cup ended with their heartbreaking loss to Australia in the summit clash, similar to what happened with the senior team last year.
Reacting to Australia’s victory, Mohammad Kaif wrote on the microblogging platform X:
“At u-19 level team results don’t matter much. Future stars learn lesson that help them in long journey.. Well played India. This time have to say Australia good on pitch, and on paper. “
India failed to chase down the 254-run target set by Australia in the ICC U-19 World Cup final. They suffered a batting collapse and were bundled out for just 174 runs.
What Mohammad Kaif said after the 2023 ODI World Cup final
The Rohit Sharma-led Indian team enjoyed an imperious run at the 2023 World Cup, entering the final with a 10-match winning streak. However, they failed to make it count in the summit clash, suffering a six-wicket defeat to Australia.
Speaking to Star Sports following the game, Mohammad Kaif opined that the best team did not win the World Cup.
“Congratulations to Australia but I am not ready to accept that the best team won the World Cup. This Indian team has been the best side. They would win so many times playing against the same Australian team, even though they lost today. It was one of those bad day, this happens sometimes,” he said.
Australia comfortably chased down the 241-run target with six wickets in hand, courtesy of opener Travis Head’s blistering 137-run knock.