Pakistan legend Wasim Akram asked the fans, TV channels, and social media networks to accept their mistake of making India the World Champions ahead of the Rohit Sharma-led side's title clash against Australia in the 2023 Cricket World Cup in Ahmedabad earlier this month.

A rampaging Team India entered the final after winning ten games on the trot, including a dominant victory over nemesis New Zealand in the semis, with cricket pundits predicting a third World Cup triumph for the Men in Blue at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Gujarat.

But Australia's tactical brilliance in the final meant that India's ODI World Cup drought ended for another four years as the Kangaroos sealed a comfortable six-wicket victory in front of over 100,000 fans in Ahmedabad.

Wasim Akram reckoned that the hype surrounding India's possible victory in the final did play a part in increasing the pain of the loss.

“I can understand that as a nation it will be tough to get over it because your team played so well throughout the tournament. They won 10 matches on the trot, there was consistency. But television, social media, fans… you all already made India the winner of World Cup. You accept your mistake too, I'm sorry. You increased the hope of the people because they were playing so well. It's not entirely your fault. They were playing very good cricket. But it came to just one bad game. Credit goes to Australia,” Wasim Akram said on Star Sports.

“In the middle overs from 11-40, there were very few boundaries because of the way they bowled. They didn't bowl a single pace-on delivery to Suryakumar Yadav. Fine-leg and thirdman were literally behind the keeper. So they had better plans,” the former Pakistan captain added.

“First of all, the Indian team played really well. It feels like a shock (that they lost in the final), they are down but it's alright. I still get asked about the loss in the 1999 World Cup final. When will our fans forget this? The fans of India and Pakistan have an elephant's memory. It's been 30 years since we lost that final and they still ask me why I opted to bat after winning the toss. So, don't take social media seriously, half of it is just drama,” Wasim Akram underlined.

Wasim Akram appealed to the Indian fans to move on from the loss and cheer for the Men in Blue with the same enthusiasm during the T20 World Cup, which will take place in the West Indies and the US in June next year.

“As a nation, you have to move on, there's another World Cup coming in six months,” Wasim Akram stressed.

Meanwhile, ex-cricketer Gautam Gambhir criticized India captain Rohit Sharma for his remarks on head coach Rahul Dravid, which he made during the national team's failed bid to win the 2023 Cricket World Cup earlier this month.

Ahead of India's World Cup final against Australia, Rohit Sharma had said that the Men in Blue wanted to win the trophy for Rahul Dravid, who failed to lift it during his illustrious career.

Rahul Dravid retired with over 10,000 and 13,000 runs in ODIs and Tests, respectively.

“The way he stood by the players in difficult times, especially during the T20 World Cup, where we had a good run up until that semifinal, where we lost. How he reacted to certain situations and informed the players was helpful. He wants to be part of this big occasion, and it's for us to do it for him,” Rohit Sharma stated on the eve of the World Cup final against Australia.

2011 World Cup winner Gautam Gambhir opined that the India skipper shouldn't have made those remarks as players win a trophy for the country and not for an individual.

“Every player, every coach wants to win the World Cup. If he wants a renewal then definitely he should be given that chance. What better than continuity? I would never understand one thing. It happened during our time in 2011 too. When you say that you want to win the World Cup an individual, doesn't matter who that is… this statement is not right,” Gautam Gambhir told Sportskeeda.

“You are trying to win the World Cup for the entire country. And if you want to say such a thing then don't say it in the media. Keep it within yourself. The truth is, it is more important to win a World Cup for the nation. I was asked the same in 2011 when everyone said we were trying to win the World Cup for one individual, I said no I want to win the Cup for my country. I picked up the bat for my country. So Rohit probably shouldn't have said this,” he continued.

However, Gautam Gambhir backed Rahul Dravid to stay as India coach, urging the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to renew his contract at the earliest.

Rahul Dravid's assignment as the head coach of the Indian cricket team officially ended after the ODI World Cup. But Gautam Gambhir wished to see his tenure extended because the T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the US is only six months away.

“But as far as Dravid's coaching credentials are concerned, he should be definitely given an extension if he wants to continue. I', very happy with his tenure. And not just for a year but at least two years because India will enter a rebuilding phase soon. You might not see Rohit Sharma, Bumrah and Shami in the next World Cup. So it's important to build towards the 50 over World Cup,” Gautam Gambhir explained.

“Dravid's contract as head coach should be automatically renewed. The kind of cricket that India played throughout the World Cup, if you are going to judge a coach by just one match then it is a wrong precedent,” the hero of India's 2011 World Cup victory elaborated.

In the 2023 Cricket World Cup final, Australian skipper Pat Cummins won the toss and chose to field first.

The Indian team got off to a flying start, all thanks to Rohit Sharma's ultra-aggressive approach at the top of the order.

Rohit Sharma smoked sixes and boundaries at will against Australia, taking the likes of Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc apart during his short but impressive knock of 47 off 31 balls.

At 1/76 and Rohit Sharma firing on all cylinders, the crowd inside the Narendra Modi Stadium was excited as India looked in complete command of the proceedings on the field.

As the Indians were running away with the match on the back of Rohit Sharma's explosive batting, a moment of brilliance turned the tide in Australia's favor.

The head-turning moment came in the 10th over, bowled by Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell. After Rohit Sharma took him on, smashing a six and a four off Glenn Maxwell, the India captain tried to hit another maximum.

But on this occasion, Rohit Sharma could only get an outside edge of the bat on the ball before Travis Head grabbed a brilliant catch, getting rid of Rohit Sharma for 47.

Once Rohit Sharma perished, Australian bowlers tightened the screws on a dry Ahmedabad pitch, choking the flow of runs for the Indians.

Except for Virat Kohli, who made 54 off 63 balls, no other Indian batter got going with boundaries becoming a rare commodity.

KL Rahul did try to stem the tide in India's favor but continued to struggle throughout his knock of 66 off 107 balls, perhaps contributing to the home team's eventual score of 240 in their allocated 50 overs.

Chasing a paltry 240 to claim a record-extending sixth World Cup title, the Australians found themselves in a deep hole at 47/3 with Steve Smith, David Warner, and Mitch Marsh back in the hut.

However, then came the match-winning 192-run partnership between Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne, with the former proving extremely dangerous as he took the match away from India's reach with a sensational 137 off 120 balls.

Subsequently, Glenn Maxwell hit the World Cup-winning runs for Australia as the Kangaroos secured another victory in an ICC event, leaving India captain Rohit Sharma in tears and their millions of fans in a sea of sadness.