"Need to perform when it matters" - David Warner responds to Mohammad Kaif's 'best team on paper' comments

David Warner elated with winning his second ODI World Cup Trophy
David Warner elated with winning his second ODI World Cup Trophy

David Warner recently responded to former Indian batter Mohammad Kaif's take on India being the best team on paper despite Australia winning the 2023 World Cup. The 37-year-old highlighted the importance of performing when the stakes are high.

Team India finished the league stage at the top of the points table, winning all nine games. Meanwhile, the Men in Yellow lost their opening two outings before turning the tables and winning their next seven games.

Rohit Sharma and company also won their semi-final against New Zealand more convincingly than Australia, who scraped through with a three-wicket victory against South Africa. Yet, in the final, the Aussies displayed their big-game mettle and upstaged India by six wickets to clinch their sixth ODI World Cup title.

Speaking on Star Sports after the final, Kaif did not accept that the better team had won the World Cup, claiming India as the best team on paper.

Refuting to the comments, Warner took to his Twitter handle and responded:

"I like MK, issue is it does not matter what’s on paper. At the end of the day you need to perform when it matters. That’s why they call it a final. That’s the day that counts and it can go either way, that’s sports. 2027 here we come."

While Warner was dismissed for only seven in Australia's run chase in the final, his electrifying fielding during India's batting innings set the perfect tone. A sensational bowling and fielding performance helped Australia restrict an in-form Indian batting to a below-par 240 in 50 overs. They chased down the target in 43 overs, thanks to a match-winning hundred by Travis Head

Warner finished as the tournament's sixth-leading run-scorer with 535 runs at an average of 48.63 and a strike rate of 108.29.

"One of the most bizarre statements that I have heard" - Gautam Gambhir

Former Indian batter Gautam Gambhir echoed David Warner's sentiments earlier this week by stating that the team that win the World Cup is undoubtedly the best.

Gambhir, an integral part of India's 2011 ODI World Cup-winning side, condemned Mohammad Kaif and other experts' comments as bizarre and baffling.

In an exclusive conversation with Sportskeeda, Gambhir said:

"I will tell you very clearly. A lot of people might not like it. I heard some of the experts saying that the best team did not go on to win the World Cup. That's absolutely not true. That's one of the most bizarre statements that I have heard."

India defeated Australia in their tournament opener by a similar six-wicket margin before the role reversal in the summit clash.

Led by Pat Cummins, the Aussies completed the double over India by defeating them in the World Test Championship (WTC) and the ODI World Cup final this year.

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Edited by Ankush Das
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