‘India have shown Australia they can win anywhere’: Nasser Hussain ahead of WTC final
Hussain he thinks India can win in any condition but it will definitely help them if the sun shines at The Oval during the WTC final against Australia.
Going into the World Test Championship final at The Oval, neither India nor Australia can claim an advantage of the conditions. Yes, the balance may ever so slightly be tilted towards Australia because of the quality of their seam attack on conditions that are largely suited for pace-bowling but India's pace battery has over the years proved the doubters wrong on many occasions. One man who can claim to be an expert in playing at The Oval is former England captain Nasser Hussain. And he thinks India can win in any condition but it will definitely help them if the sun shines between June 7 and 11.
“I think India, as they showed in Australia, can win in any conditions. India have played some good cricket at The Oval. They beat England there last time in a really good game. I think it's a pretty fair venue,” Hussain said on The ICC Review. “It helps with the balance of their side if the weather is good and if the sun shines at The Oval, that they can go with their formula of two spinners, two seamers, and have (Shardul) Thakur as your third seamer."
Hussain, who is part of the WTC final global broadcast team, minced no words when stating that India got their team wrong the last time they turned up for the WTC final against New Zealand a couple of years ago in Southampton.
“If you look back at the last World Test Championship, I think India read the conditions wrong. The lights were on all five days, it was grey, it was miserable, it was cold. New Zealand didn't play a front-line spinner. India played two, and I think seam dominated, swing dominated," he added.
India ignored the overcast conditions and the pitch on offer and decided to field both Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the last WTC final in 2021. The decision backfired as Jadeja hardly had much to bowl. And New Zealand's all-seam attack, on the other hand, tormented the Indian batting unit throughout the Test.
Hussain, however, feels, India should both the spin-bowling all-rounders together because of a number of factors.
“I would go Jadeja and Ashwin, (for) batting depth. Then you can bat all the way down. Then you can play your best seamers. Jadeja bowled beautifully there against England last time. He held up an end. He got it reverse swinging for them because he hits the scruffy side of the ball as well when he bowls.
“But what they mustn't do if it's rainy and wet and damp and the lights are on and it's green, then they have to change the balance of their side, which they didn't do for the World Test Championship last time. I would really look at those conditions the day before and on that first morning and not be wary of leaving one of your legends out if conditions demand that. But great bowlers are usually great bowlers in all conditions.”