During the ODI World Cup 2023 final between India and Australia at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium on November 19, Harbhajan Singh, the renowned Indian off-spinner, ignited a controversy with comments directed at Anushka Sharma and Athiya Shetty.
In the 18th over of India’s innings, commentator Jatin Sapru mentioned to Harbhajan that Anushka and Athiya might be anticipating their husbands, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, to continue batting together. Seizing the opportunity, Harbhajan questioned their cricket knowledge, expressing uncertainty about whether they were discussing cricket or films. He said, “I don’t know if they’re talking about cricket or films, I don’t think they know much about cricket,” the former cricketer said while commentating.
Here Is The Clip:
@harbhajan_singh What do you mean that the ladies understand cricket or not?? Please apologise immediately. @AnushkaSharma@theathiyashetty@klrahul@imVkohli#INDvsAUSfinal #INDvAUS #ICCWorldCupFinal pic.twitter.com/8gKlG8WvJP— Arunodaya Singh (@ArunodayaSingh3) November 19, 2023
In terms of the match itself, India, having lost the toss, was set to bat first. The Australian bowlers, backed by strong fielding, posed challenges for the Indian batsmen throughout the innings. Despite an initial contribution from Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill fell early to Mitchell Starc after scoring just four runs.
Virat Kohli assumed control after the dismissals of Rohit and Shreyas Iyer. Kohli achieved a half-century and established a 50-plus run partnership with KL Rahul for the fourth wicket. Kohli’s innings concluded at 54 off 63, and Rahul attempted to anchor the innings. However, India faced a setback with Ravindra Jadeja’s dismissal in the 36th over, concluding his innings at 66 runs.
Mohammed Siraj and Kuldeep Yadav then forged a 14-run partnership for the last wicket as India were eventually bowled out for 240 in 50 overs.
Australia’s Mitchell Starc claimed a three-wicket haul, complemented by two scalps each from Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.
Despite India’s efforts, Australia emerged strong with their bowling performance and restricted the Indian team to a competitive yet challenging total. Harbhajan Singh’s comments, amidst the intense cricket action, added a layer of controversy to the World Cup final, sparking discussions about the appropriateness of such remarks in the realm of sports commentary.