New Delhi: Team India’s second consecutive entry in World Test Championship (WTC) final had raised hopes of a title victory but little did fans anticipate an ignominious defeat for the team at the Oval in London. Australia handed over a crushing defeat to the Men in Blue on 5th day of the WTC final and defeated the latter by 209 runs.
Rohit Sharma & company, after failing to restrict Aussies on small/moderate score, floundered in its first innings though saved follow-on. In final lap of the game, Team India had a mammoth 444 run chasing target. At one point, the game looked evenly spread but the infamous collapse of Indian line-up saw it losing the WTC final by 209 runs. Chasing 44 4 runs, the team was sent packing for 234 runs.
This came as shocking defeat for Team India as well as fans, as Rohit’s team was playing its 2nd consecutive final in 4 years. Earlier, it lost the final against New Zealand by 8 wickets.
Post the humiliating debacle, the team is line of fire by veteran cricketers & sports analysts, however, all agree on the bottomline that Australian side was clinical in its approach from Day 1 while India seemed biting the dust ever since start of game.
Here are 5 reasons which led to India’s rout at Oval
There may be multiple factors which resulted in India’s humiliating exit from the WTC final, here are some of them:
1) Famed top-order collapse
Lately, Team India’s batting line-up has been talked about a lot, often being described as one among the best, however when it comes to big & final encounters, the famed top-order collapse has costly India dearly, not just in this WTC final but many other similar matches in recent past.
The likes of Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma excelled in domestic matches recently but failed to hold ground at Oval. India’s batting in disarray was among the prime reasons for India’s defeat.
2) Bowlers bumbled since Day 1
India’s bowling attack seemed to be fairly good but failed to impress at the Oval. In first innings, Aussies remains unchecked & created a massive total while the 2nd innings also saw them in good stead.
Travis Head & Steve Smith partnership of 250 runs made task difficult for India and the team also floundered in sharpening its bowling attack & targeting these two batsmen in particular.
3) Ashwin’s absence criticized by all
Ravichandra Ashwin’s was conspicuous from his absence at the WTC final and the same was called out by a couple of retired cricketers. Given the left arm spinner’s tight bowling attack, Ashwin could have been the player that team wanted but his absence & Jadeja’s below average show meant that Aussies kept the momentum of scoring big run. Team dropping Ashwin for the WTC final was also called out by many former cricketers.
4) Bumrah, Pant & Aiyar’s absence
The absence of fast bowler Bumrah, wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant pinched India a lot in the final against Australia. Though, Shreyas Iyer’s replacement with Ajinkya Rahana could be justified but all this didn’t end well.
5) India’s wrong assessment at WTC?
Though, it’s open to assessment but questions are being raised over India’s decision to pick bowling in light of overcast conditions at London. Analysts believe that putting Australia to bat first in 1st innings proved to be a mistake as it went on score big total and Team India just couldn’t muster strength to chase that target.