'This is WTC Final, the least India could've done was...': Ramiz Raja blasts Rohit Sharma and co. after poor Day 1
The former PCB chairman didn't mince his words as he talked about the side's poor performance on Day 1 of the WTC Final.
Team India had a disappointing start to the World Test Championship final, conceding 327 on the first day against Australia at The Oval. After opting to bowl, the Rohit Sharma-led Indian team had made a bright start when it removed three Aussie wickets in quick succession; however, Travis Head (146*) and Steve Smith (95*) then forged an incredible partnership to snatch the momentum from India.
The Indian bowlers looked hapless as Head and Smith continued to pile up runs, and former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja stated that Rohit Sharma's men were grossly ill-prepared for the iconic clash in London. Raja pointed out that India should've played in practice matches in England ahead of the final to acclimatize with the pitch conditions and weather.
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The Indian players had arrived in England in multiple groups due to the 2023 Indian Premier League, which ended on May 29.
“One-off Tests are difficult to assess what you have to do. A team comes from sub-continent conditions to these cold climates, and have to adjust in 5-6 days. That too, without even playing a game. I don't understand. This is the WTC Final, India should have at least had inter-squad matches before this. Even if you had played 3-4 one-day matches, you get acclimatized to the conditions,” Raja said on his official YouTube channel.
“It's overcast, the pitch conditions are quite different. You want to have adjustment. Bowlers also need to adjust their lines and lengths here. After four overs in IPL, you have to bowl 17 here in a day. The body needs rest,” he added further.
India had endured a disappointing loss in the final of the opening edition of the tournament two years ago, when New Zealand inflicted an 8-wicket loss on Virat Kohli-led side in Southampton. The Indian team hasn't won an ICC title over the past ten years, with its win coming under the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni when the side lifted the Champions Trophy in England.