After facing a humiliating defeat at the World Test Championship final (WTC), while addressing the press conference Indian skipper Virat Kohli spoke about the various aspects on which they lacked. Former Indian captain and all-time great Sunil Gavaskar shared his thoughts on the same.
One factor that every Team India fan, be it a supporter or a critic, would agree to, was the batting conditions being extremely difficult at least until the Reserve Day of the WTC.
Constant rain and the windy weather made it extremely difficult for the batters to look for those non-deviating balls to go for the big shots. The clouded overcast for the better half of the day made it rather difficult to see and the added help to the swing wasn’t making things any easier.
Gavaskar and Kohli on Pujara:
Due to bad playing conditions, none of the members of the Indian cricket team were able to hit the 50-run mark in either of the innings while some of the most well-known, and established batsmen struggled to even cross the 20-run threshold. Which was the main reason for their loss.
And all the blame for the collapse of the Indian batting lineup has ended up falling on the shoulders of top-order batsman of the squad, Cheteshwar Pujara, who made 15 and 8 runs in the first and second innings, respectively.
A lot of this negative focus also has to do with what Team captain, Virat Kohli said after losing the final, in the press conference.
“We will not wait for a year or so and have to plan ahead. If you see our white-ball team now, we have great depth and guys are ready and confident. The same thing needs to be done with Test cricket,” Kohli said while teasing the speculations of a major overhaul of the Indian Test squad.
A day after the conference, a BCCI official told, that in the upcoming Test series against England, Kohli will be experimenting at the number three position while bringing in either KL Rahul or Hanuma Vihari to place at 4 instead of him. This would inevitably lead to Pujara’s ouster from the squad.
Former Indian captain and all-time great Sunil Gavaskar defended Pujara and protested all the hate that was coming toward the 33-year old. This what he had to say-
“Forget about India, look at the way New Zealand batsmen like Kane Williamson, Devon Conway, and even Ross Taylor started their innings. They were also slow at the beginning just like Pujara. Now if you still want to point a finger at him, then we can’t really do anything about it.”
Further talking about Pujara and his brilliance in test format here is what the veteran had to say- “He (Pujara) is one of those guys, whose solidity allows the players on the other end of the pitch to comfortably play the big strokes, knowing that at least one side of the partnership is being held by Cheteshwar Pujara.”
ICC test rankings have changed after the first-ever World Test Championship has ended. New Zealand has become the first-ever WTC winner after defeating India at Southampton. We have seen many brilliant performances from different players in the last two years.