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    WTC Final: India didn’t get enough match practice, says Irfan Pathan

    WTC Final: India didn’t get enough match practice, says Irfan Pathan

    Cricket   |   July 2, 2021

    Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan feels Team India didn’t get enough match practice under their belt before the all-important World Test Championship final against New Zealand.

    The Indian players had played in the IPL before the all-important final but they got some rest as the Twenty20 tournament was indefinitely postponed.

    Subsequently, India arrived in England on June 2 and played an intra-squad match before the WTC Final. On the other hand, New Zealand played two Test matches against England before the big match. The Kiwis dominated the first Test match but didn’t have the rub of the green on their side as the third day was washed out. However, the visitors went on to win the second Test match and won the series 1-0 against England.

    Meanwhile, Pathan reckons the Indian bowlers looked tired when they took field in the second session against the Kiwis and it happened because they didn’t have enough match practice under their belt.

    “By the time we (Team India) started fielding for the second session, our bowlers were already tired. This happened because India didn’t get enough match practice. When a team gets less match practice, they don’t have the kind of match fitness required for a particular game. I feel this will improve eventually,” said the 36-year-old all-rounder while speaking to Star Sports.

    On the other hand, Pathan feels the Indian bowlers should have opted to bowl some bouncers like Neil Wagner did for New Zealand. Wagner was able to dismiss Ajinkya Rahane in the first innings and then got the better of Ravindra Jadeja in the second essay with the short ball ploy.

    “I think Indian bowlers should’ve opted for more bouncers – the way Neil Wagner did. And improvement is required in length because we witnessed a lot of cut shots and back-foot punches from Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor,” Pathan said.

    The Indian bowlers did a fine job in the first innings as they were able to skittle out New Zealand for 249 runs. However, they were not able to put enough runs on the board as they scored 217 and 170 in both innings.

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