India's Whitewash Of Australia At Home Bodes Well For WTC Final, Says Shastri
India have a 2-0 lead in the series [AP Photos]
India may have squandered their chance of clinching the maiden World Test Championship title in its inaugural edition in Southampton. Nevertheless, the erstwhile coach of the Indian cricket team, Ravi Shastri, is confident that the subcontinent's behemoths will have a decent shot at lifting the coveted trophy, even if they have to face the top-ranked Australian side at the Oval in London.
The Virat Kohli-led Indian outfit was outplayed by the New Zealand team in the first-ever World Test Championship final in 2021, as the Indian batsmen failed to surmount the challenge posed by the high-quality BlackCaps pacers, who utilized the favourable conditions expertly. The Indian team could only muster more than 200 runs in a solitary inning, as the likes of Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, and Trent Boult decimated the Indian batting unit.
India has been in red-hot form in the current cycle of the World Test Championship. After securing an unassailable 2-0 lead over the top-ranked Australian team at home, the Rohit Sharma led side needs just one more victory to secure their berth in the WTC final, scheduled for June in London. Despite the Australian team's struggles in India so far, they are still favoured to reach the championship final.
While speaking to ICC, Shastri, who was at the helm of the Indian team during the inaugural WTC final, acknowledged that Australia's fast bowlers are expected to be more potent in the English conditions. Nonetheless, he reckoned that a resounding 4-0 triumph over Australia in the ongoing series could provide India with a psychological advantage heading into the big final.
The former all-rounder also noted that such a victory would send a potent message to the opposition, although he acknowledged that the conditions would be vastly different.
The Indian veteran further opined that he was astonished to witness the Australian batsmen's lack of application and reluctance to stay at the crease and face the Indian spinners during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Shastri attributed Australia's dismal showing to their inadequate belief in their defensive technique, adding that their lack of discipline had cost them dearly. The third Test match between the two cricketing giants is slated to begin on March 1 in Indore.