As the World Test Championship final entered the reserve day, it was expected that the match would head into a draw as India had eight wickets in the bank.
The Virat Kohli-led team was ahead by 32 runs and the initial 45 minutes were going to be crucial. However, Team India lost the early wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli on Day six of the Test match, which put them on the backfoot.
Former Indian great Sunil Gavaskar questioned the team’s batting approach as the sun was out and it was not challenging conditions as there was hardly any grass on the surface. Thus, the conditions were not bad for batting but the Indian batsmen didn’t show the resistance which was needed on the final day.
India lost three wickets in the opening session and scored only 66 runs, thus it was the turning point of the match. Subsequently, India lost five wickets in the second session and were skittled out for a paltry score of 170 runs in the second innings. Thus, India could only set up a target of 139 runs for the Kiwis, which Kane Williamson-led achieved easily in the end.
“In batting, the patience that is needed for Test cricket, for five days, we saw it slightly lacking. And because of that, there was a willingness to play shots and that’s what got our batsmen out. When the ball is not moving in air or off the pitch, you can reach the pitch of the ball and play shots. But when there is movement, you need to be a bit patient. And had we shown it, the result could have been something else,” Gavaskar said on Sports Tak.
“I’m talking about the batting on the final day. For the first four days, batting was very tough. You bring any batsman to play, and he would have had a tough time. But on the final day, the sun was out, and even the grass did not exist. Yet everyone tried to play their shots and we lost eight wickets,” Gavaskar added.
India would be disappointed with their batting effort in the second innings as they didn’t show any patience. However, the credit should be given to the New Zealand fast bowling unit, which was relentless in their approach and kept things tight despite not much help.