'India were hard done by that way': England legend Alastair Cook on factor that determined WTC final
- India were playing a Test match after a gap of more than three months. The only red-ball practice they had was the intra-squad simulation they played ahead of the WTC final, which Cook said doesn’t have the same intensity of a Test match.
Former England captain Alastair Cook said India were hard done by for not getting match-practice ahead of the World Test Championship final like their opponents and eventual winners of the WTC New Zealand.
Cook said New Zealand were better prepared as they played two Tests against England barely a week before the WTC final in Southampton.
"I did say New Zealand were going to win that game purely down to the fact that they were match-hardened. Those two Test matches against England were such perfect preparation,” Cook said on the BBC's Tuffer and Vaughan Podcast.
India, on the other hand, were playing a Test match after a gap of more than three months. The only red-ball practice they had was the intra-squad simulation they played ahead of the WTC final, which Cook said doesn’t have the same intensity of a Test match.
“Intra-squad games, as good as your intention might be, it hasn't got the same intensity. First hour might be really competitive but everything goes less and less and less. India were hard done by that way," Cook added.
The Indian batsmen looked underprepared in front of the New Zealand seamers. They were bowled out for 217 in the first innings and fared even worse in the second innings when they were all out for 170.
Another factor, that played a key role in deciding the outcome of the WTC final was India’s decision to play two specialist spinners despite knowing the rain forecast throughout the Test match.
Cook said India went ahead of themselves by naming their side a day in advance and then not deciding to change it despite the first day being washed out.
"They (India) got a bit confident in picking that side three days out before (the game) and playing two spinners where they pretty much knew it was going to rain for a lot of that game. So a lot of seam bowling was bowled. Even though their spinners are world-class, they got a little bit ahead of themselves there," he said.