Sourav Ganguly wants India to bat first irrespective of the conditions. (Getty Images)
Sourav Ganguly wants India to bat first irrespective of the conditions. (Getty Images)

'Look at Leeds in 2002 or 2018 South Africa': Sourav Ganguly suggests what India should do if they win toss in WTC Final

  • What should India preferably do if they win the toss in the crucial final of the ICC World Test Championship against New Zealand? Sourav Ganguly has the answer.
By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 18, 2021 08:39 AM IST

What should India preferably do after winning the toss in the crucial final of the ICC World Test Championship against New Zealand? Well, former India captain and present BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly has the answer. He suggests India should bat first even if the conditions are overcast because that has worked well for the team on overseas tours.

As India gear up to take on Kane Williamson’s New Zealand at the Ageas Bowl, Ganguly is hopeful that Kohli & Co. will bring the Test Mace home. At the same time, he also suggested that it won’t be an easy task, given the quality and depth of the Black Caps.

Also Read | India announce playing XI for WTC final, Ashwin & Jadeja both included

While speaking to India Today, Ganguly said, “If you dig into the record books and see India's best overseas performances (save 2021 Australia), we have always won matches when we have batted first. It's about a choice whether you want to face the pressure first up in adverse conditions or wait for the fourth innings.

“Look at Leeds in 2002 or 2018 South Africa, we batted first in bowling friendly conditions, soaked in the initial pressure, put runs on the board and that's how we won those games. Even Mark Taylor or Steve Waugh’s Australian teams rarely fielded even in seaming conditions. Maybe occasionally when the wicket used to be damp,” said Ganguly.

Ganguly further opined that it will be a big responsibility for openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill who would be required to blunt the new ball attack of New Zealand and then England in subsequent Test series.

Also Read | Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson play down hype ahead of WTC final

“Opening becomes a very important aspect when you tour abroad. When we toured Australia, England and Pakistan, we played well because we had openers like Virender Sehwag and Aakash Chopra, who used to play out the new ball and make it old. When your middle-order batsmen come out to bat at 30 for 2 then it becomes really difficult for a side to compete,” Ganguly said.

“This tour therefore, will be very crucial for openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill. Not just the WTC Final but also the 5 Tests against England. They will have to play out the new ball and put a price on their wickets. If they are able to do that then they will be able to set the game for the batsmen coming after them like Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and India's best batsman on current form Rishabh Pant,” he added.

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