Losing skipper Virat Kohli stated that New Zealand put India under the pump throughout the game and showed a lot of heart in the big game. He also added that the morning session on the reserve day where India lost wickets in a bunch proved to be the difference in the final against New Zealand.
India, who were riding high on Test series wins against Australia and England this year, were outplayed by New Zealand in the World Test Championship final. The outcome of the game was decided on the reserve day after two days were washed out. India’s worst fears in swinging conditions came to the fore as they collapsed not once but twice in the game. Not only the batting wasn’t up to the mark, but Indian seamers also didn’t get as much movement as their counterparts with the Kiwi pacers putting up a masterclass in both innings.
With New Zealand requiring 139 to win, Indian bowling didn’t spring a surprise despite Ravichandran Ashwin’s twin scalps as seasoned campaigners Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor led New Zealand to a comfortable eight-wicket win and the elusive WTC title. Talking about the loss, Indian skipper Virat Kohli stated New Zealand played great cricket in the game and put India under constant pressure.
“First up, a big congratulations to Kane and his team. They’ve shown great consistency and heart, and pull off a result in three days. They put us under pressure throughout the Test and did extremely well to win. It was difficult to get momentum on Day 2, and we did really well with the ball in the first innings,” Kohli said in the presentation ceremony.
On day six, India got off to the worst possible start as they lost the experienced trio of Kohli (13), Pujara (15) and Rahane (15) cheaply, all playing poot shots and it put a lot of pressure on the lower-order. Rishabh Pant, pretty much like he has done this year, tried to play the rescue act to make 41 but despite that, India got all-out on 170. Kohli felt the morning session made all the difference.
“This morning was the difference where their bowlers executed their plans to perfection and didn’t give us scoring opportunities. We were 30-40 short of giving them a good target. I don’t regret announcing my XI beforehand, because you need an all-rounder in the side but we made a unanimous decision that these are the best XI we can take into the park.”
Kyle Jamieson was one of the stars of the game. He even had his RCB’s skipper Virat Kohli’s wicket in both innings. Kohli applauded the Kiwi pacer and said he bowled in good areas and got the reward. Kohli, one of the ardent supporters of Test cricket, also stated that WTC is great for the game and praised the ICC for the move to start such a Test championship.
“Jamieson is coming up nicely in international cricket – good areas with the ball, and he can bat quite well too. He’s had a great game and he deserves the man of the match award. It’s great for the game (WTC) and the more Test cricket is given importance, the better it will be for international cricket. It’s a great move by ICC. Test cricket is the heartbeat of the game. It’s a long summer ahead and we are really looking forward to the next series (Tests against England),” he said.