WTC Final: India had to be content being a runners-up as Australia steals the show

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By Sunil Sarpal

The WTC final cricket test match played between India and Australia at The Oval, England was a mouth-watering contest. There was juice on offer for fast bowlers and life for batters was not a cake-walk at all. Indian fast bowlers did not bowl at the right areas in the first outing, enabling Aussies to take early initiative and advantage in the match. Aussies amassed a mammoth 479 in the first innings. It was a daunting task for India to take on 4-pronged pace attack of Australia. Of the 4, Boland was the most difficult to deal with. The first innings scalp of Gill by Boland was a treat to watch. The ball pitched well outside the off stump but jagged back and uprooted the stumps.

One particular noticiable factor was when once a batsman settles down after gauging the behaviour of the pitch, it becomes imperative on his part to play a disciplined knock and not over-indulge. Once india is in a precarious situation, batters going for expensive shots leads to their downfall. The most difficult corridor for a batsman is off stump and just outside off stump. Generally, it is the away going delivery which creates trouble for batters but when bowlers swing one in, it is absolutely nightmarish for the batters.

Batting on helpful tracks for batters call for a great deal of concentration, determination and application.

In the second essay, Indian batters Rohit, Pujara and Kohli all perished after making good start and making necessary adjustment.

For Aussie fast bowlers above 6 ft plus height get extra ordinary lift and bounce from the wicket. All Aussie fast bowlers are above 6 ft.

If we talk about Rohit Sharma’s batting, his batting involves lot of risk-taking shots. Pulls and hooks are his favourite shots but controlling these shots is equally important. He may get a lot of runs playing such shots but there is an element of risk involved. Anything misqued goes to waiting hands.

I think Gill has to make lot of adjustment in playing outside off stump line.

Pujara these days has changed his style of play. He need not be over enthusiastic in playing shots. Pujara of old was much more secure and stood like a wall for other batters to score bulk of runs.

In this match, India badly missed the services of Bumrah because of injury. For India it was a testing time but Aussie is a class act. Let us hope with the recovery of Pant, India poses more solidarity to the side in the future.