Southampton: Indian team head coach Ravi Shastri attributed New Zealand’s victory in the World Test Championship (WTC) final to conditions even though skipper Virat Kohli and fielding coach R Sridhar had earlier said that the playing XI chosen for the Hampshire Bowl Test had taken conditions out of the equation.
“Better team won in the conditions,” tweeted Shastri Thursday. “Deserved winners after the longest wait for a World Title. Classic example of Big things don’t come easy. Well played, New Zealand. Respect.”
New Zealand’s pace attack skittled out India on the sixth – and reserve — day for just 170 even as the Indian spinners failed to find any support from the surface.
India had picked two spinners even as the Kiwis went in with a four-pronged pace attack and kept no spinner in the line-up. Their fifth bowler’s duties were done by seam bowling all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme.
With rain playing spoilsport and washing out the first day, there were expectations that India might leave out one of the spinners from the playing XI named on Thursday and play four pace bowlers. They stuck to the team even as New Zealand waited for the toss on Saturday to decide their final XI.
“I think the XI which has been announced is the XI that takes the pitch and conditions out of the equation. I think it is an XI which can play and perform on any given surface and in any given weather conditions. So that is what I believe: this XI is all about which we have put on the park,” India’s fielding coach R. Sridhar had told the media on Friday after Day 1 was washed out.
Kohli reiterated Sridhar’s stance on Wednesday saying, “I don’t regret announcing my [playing] Xi beforehand, because you need an all-rounder in the side but we made a unanimous decision that these are the best eleven players we can take into the park.”