'Australian conditions should have favoured Australians': Kohli dismisses India's concern over conditions in WTC final

By, New Delhi
Jun 03, 2021 11:55 AM IST

Virat Kohli said India's focus is on playing better cricket than the opposition and the conditions do not matter to him and his men in the final of the World Test Championship.

The inaugural ICC World Test Championship kick-started from August 1, 2019 and the first ever final will be contested between India and New Zealand from June 18, 2021 in a one-off Test match to be played in Southampton in England.

Virat Kohli says India are not thinking too much about the conditions in England. (Getty Images)
Virat Kohli says India are not thinking too much about the conditions in England. (Getty Images)

The inaugural championship was interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 as it sent the entire FTP for a toss. It was hampered by series of postponements and cancellations. The ICC made changes to its already complicated points system and at the end of it all, India qualified for the finals by finishing at the top of the table along with New Zealand, who finished second.

Also Read | 'I love watching him bat': Sunil Gavaskar names one modern-day player he would have wanted to bat like

During the entire duration of the WTC, India contested a total of six Test series. They beat West Indies and Australia away from home, while securing victories over Bangladesh, South Africa and England at home.

Virat Kohli and his team’s only reversal came in New Zealand as they lost to Kane Williamson’s side 0-2. So, the WTC final in many ways gives Kohli and his team a chance to correct that record and become the true Champions of Test cricket.

But the conditions in England will be similar to that in New Zealand, if not the same, and that definitely gives the Kiwis an advantage. Indian batsmen are known to struggle against the moving ball and that could be a major factor in the final, given New Zealand’s line-up of pace bowlers.

When this question was asked in the pre-departure press conference, Indian captain Kohli decided to face it boldly and his response must have lifted the morale of the camp. He said the team’s focus is on playing better cricket than the opposition and the conditions do not matter to him and his men.

Also Read | 'If they want to pursue with WTC, a best of three would be ideal': India head coach Ravi Shastri

"Play better Test cricket. That is all. Conditions are the same for us as well as New Zealand.

"Australian conditions should have favoured Australians (but India won). It's how you look at the situation. If you want us to board the flight from here, feeling like New Zealand's got the edge, then there's no point taking that flight.

"We are going to board that flight knowing that we are at equal terms. And whichever team performs well session by session, hour by hour is going to win that championship," Kohli said.

While Kohli’s positivity is praiseworthy, it must be noted that India have lost their last three Test series overseas by big margins and their only win against New Zealand, away from home, since winning way back in 1967, came more than a decade ago.

With India playing a Test series in England and another Indian team travelling to Sri Lanka for a limited-overs series, Kohli touched upon the idea of two Indian teams playing simultaneously, saying it could possibly become the norm for Indian cricket going forward.

"With the current structure and the kind of structure that you’re competing inside for a long period of time, it’s very difficult for the players to stay motivated and find the right kind of mental space," Kohli added.

"You know just confined in one area and just doing the stuff, day in day out when you’re dealing with high pressure situations. So, this (two squads) will definitely become a norm for the future."

Catch all the Latest Cricket News and Live score along with WPL 2023, IPL 2023 and IPL schedule related updates on Hindustan Times
Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, March 24, 2023
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals