Batting Legend Says India Deserve to be in WTC Final

Last Updated: March 14, 2023, 14:30 IST

India will face Australia in the final of the World Test Championship. (AP Photo)

India will face Australia in the final of the World Test Championship. (AP Photo)

India either needed to win the Border Gavaskar Trophy 3-1 or hope Sri Lanka won’t clean sweep New Zealand in a two-match Test series to qualify for the final of the ICC World Test Championship

India needed a little help from New Zealand to ensure they qualify for the final of the ICC World Test Championship. After losing the third Test against Australia, India needed to win the fourth Test in Ahmedabad to directly qualify for the final but with the contest heading towards a certain draw, they required New Zealand to keep Sri Lanka from beating them 2-0 in a two-match series.

Incidentally, the first Test between New Zealand and Sri Lanka ended in a thrilling fashion on Monday with Kane Williamson hitting a memorable century to seal a last-ball win and thus paving the way for India’s entry into the final .

India thus finished second on the ICC WTC points table behind Australia and the two rivals will now jostle for the title in June. Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar though thinks that India have done enough to deserve a spot in the title clash despite how New Zealand helped their cause.

“I don’t think India owe New Zealand anything. India have played outstanding cricket over the years to qualify, to be the No.2 team, whatever you might say,” Gavaskar told India Today.

“New Zealand won, fine, it’s good for New Zealand cricket, but I don’t think Indian cricket owes New Zealand cricket any thank you or anything of that sort. Because India have played quite outstanding cricket over the last two years since the 2021 World Test Championship final and therefore, they deserve to be in the finals on their own and not with anybody’s help,” he added.

The Indian team was following the NZ-SL Test and head coach Rahul Dravid admitted they were ‘eagerly’ watching the contest.

“The first day we saw the wicket in Ahmedabad, we instantly knew winning the toss would be crucial. Then the way Australia batted in the first two days, forced us to depend on the outcome between Sri Lanka and New Zealand,” Dravid said on Star Sports.

Dravid joked how New Zealand have usually knocked them out in ICC events.

“We were eagerly watching, hoping Sri Lanka doesn’t win. The World Test Championship is a two-year long event, all the teams play six Test series each, so it’s natural you’ll be dependent on others. Although you have to put in your best but in competitions such as this you are also dependent on others. The good thing is that New Zealand, who mostly knock us out of ICC tournaments, gave us little support. We are thankful to them,” he said.

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