WTC Final: 4 reasons that went wrong for Team India against New Zealand in the ultimate Test: After two years of relentless grinding, incessant practice drills, and cut-throat cricket clashes in the build-up to the World Test Championship, Team India cruised its way into the final to lock horns with New Zealand in Southampton. The match was tactfully dealt by Kiwis, who despite the gloomy weather-wrecked conditions and the echoes of an expected draw contest, lured the inaugural WTC title (won by eight wickets) to their side and crowned themselves as the most successful Test team in 144-year long Test cricket history.
With nearly two full actionless days of washout and some other interrupted by phases of poor lighting, a lost match adds nothing but disdain for being unable to stabilize the basic cricketing fundamentals. To put it rightly, New Zealand didn’t win, India lost it!!
As India nearly succumbed to the defeat in the riveting WTC final contest, we at InsideSport analyze the slip-ups Team India did in the match.
WTC Final: Top-order inconsistency
Team India’s batting campaign collapsed not just once but in both the innings of the match. Despite a solid start by the openers- Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, who wove attractive opening wicket partnership in the first innings, Cheteshwar Pujara Pujara failed to the momentum forward. Just a little consolidation by Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane then followed a series of quick walk to the pavilion by the Indian players that walked the pitch.
The trouble was even worse in the second innings, where besides the top over fluke, even the middle order tumbled with just some handful of runs from Pant’s willow.
Unlike New Zealand, whose even tail-enders can aggregate runs on occasions when needed, it is still a dent on Team Indian inability to gather runs with the willow.
WTC Final: Over dependency on seamers
Needless to say, the pace battery has some significant responsibility especially in England conditions where the conditions offer a better swinging margin. But following the batting fiasco in both the innings, Team India seemed to have aggravated monumental responsibilities and reliance on the speedsters, who still managed to pay off quite significantly.
WTC Final: Starchy spin bowling
Team India’s trump cards- Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin could have done wonders had there been clear sunny days, uninterrupted by rain gods as the normal conditions could have assisted them with some spin on Day 3 and 4 of the match. However, as the gloomy weather cards played, the duo managed to amass a total of just 5 wickets together in the contest. Nonetheless, with the bat, the two struggled to face the Kiwis seamers.
WTC Final: Buttery fingers while fielding
‘Catches win matches! Not a clear win, but the WTC title could have been jointly shared among the two finalists had Cheteshwar Pujara lent safe hands to the dropped catch to Ross Taylor’s edge at the first slip during New Zealand’s second innings on the reserve day (Day 6).
No sooner Team India lost the ultimate Test, Twitter flooded bashing Indian skipper Virat Kohli for Team India’s collective poor show on ‘The Days’ of ICC Final matches. Kohli has crowned Team India just one of the six prestigious ICC tournaments he has led as a captain, viz a viz legendary MS Dhoni who had managed to glare three of the four ICC titles under his captaincy services towards Team India.
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