ICC WTC Final: Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan has said Virat Kohli’s team needed to play one more batsman in their line-up for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand.
Last week, Kane Williamson-led New Zealand defeated India in the finals of the World Test Championship (WTC) to grab the Test mace. The Kiwis are also currently the number one ranked Test side in the world. New Zealand defeated India by eight wickets at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton. “I think India played with fewer batsmen — which I highlighted before the ICC World Test Championship final. I feel there was a need for one more batsman in the team. We do not have quality fast-bowling all-arounder — which New Zealand possesses — and it is hard to find one. Now, If we talk from a proper cricketing point of view — what went wrong for India? I think the first innings went great, but Team India’s batting in the second inning was disappointing,” said Irfan Pathanon Star Sports’ show ‘Follow The Blues’.
“The ball wasn’t swinging as much in the second innings, and Indian batsmen could have batted more responsibly. I am aware of Rishabh Pant’s capabilities as a batsman and how he can hit balls very well, but that does not mean you hit a fast bowler outside — a sense of responsibility was required. Indian batters were using a lot of pull shots on bouncers; instead of using their body and this showed a lack of commitment. These questions are tough, but I hope Indian batsmen have the strength to give their answers in the future. And now we are back on the same topic — Kiwi batsmen were able to make 140 runs with the loss of two wickets, but our Indian team lost eight wickets building the same score,” he added.
Talking about how the Indian bowling attack lacked match practice heading into the WTC final, Irfan Pathan said: “By the time we (Team India) started fielding for the second session, our bowlers were already tired. This happened because India didn’t get enough match practice. When a team gets less match practice, they don’t have the kind of match fitness required for a particular game. I feel this will improve eventually. I think Indian bowlers should’ve opted for more bouncers — the way Neil Wagner did. And improvement is required in length, because we witnessed a lot of cut shots and back-foot punches from Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor.”
A complete effort on the Reserve Day saw New Zealand edging India in a final which had its ebbs and flows in the first innings. The Kiwis made full use of the slender 32-run lead and the Williamson-led side bundled out India cheaply in the second innings to get a target of just 139
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