Sourav Ganguly opens up on what India should chose upon winning the toss in WTC final
Ganguly also believes that Rohit and Gill have a very important role to play and will have to tackle the new ball to perfection.
Updated - Jun 18, 2021 3:56 pm
The highly-anticipated clash between India and New Zealand in the final of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship (WTC) is round the corner. Entering the WTC final, one of the biggest confusions for the Indian team will be to make a choice between batting and bowling if the Indian skipper Virat Kohli wins the toss. It is a popular opinion that the overcast conditions aren’t ideal for the Indian camp for batting as the pitch will provide much assistance to the seamers.
However, former Indian captain and current head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Sourav Ganguly believes that irrespective of the weather conditions, India should opt to bat. Ganguly gave an example of the previous matches where India emerged victorious after batting first. The former Indian skipper wants the Virat Kohli & Men to face pressure early in the game.
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.
This tour will be very crucial for openers: Sourav Ganguly
On Thursday, India announced their much-debated playing XI for the WTC final against New Zealand. Veteran opening batsman Rohit Sharma alongside the youngster Shubman Gill have been picked to open the innings for the Indian team. Ganguly believes that Rohit and Gill have a very important role to play as they need to make the new ball old for the middle-order batsmen to fire. The veteran added that the WTC final followed by the five-match Test series against England is crucial for India’s opening pair.
“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.