The World Test Championship final has turned out to be quite anticlimactic with rains playing spoilsport largely in the match. It was touted to be a clash of the giants or the battle of the extremes involving Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson, but with heavy downpour consuming a lot of match time the WTC final has turned out to be a damp squib of sorts. However, a result is still possible with the way wickets have fallen in heaps in both the innings so far and the reserve day has become very critical for the outcome of the match. Hence, let us focus on three critical factors that can be vital to the fortunes of Team India in this crucial encounter.
Read More: Women Cricket In India Deserves More Backing
Kohli’s Indifferent Form
The Indian captain has not had a very good time with the bat of late in all the formats, considering the high standards he has set for himself. There have been occasional flashes of brilliance from his blade, but these are not going to be enough when India is up against a formidable opposition on a testing surface. It is a fact that for India to perform well, especially in tough overseas pitches, Kohli has to unleash his magic with the willow. His last Test century came against Bangladesh in Kolkata in 2019 and since then the world has changed dramatically. So, a captain’s knock is very much due and can make a huge difference to the contest if there are no rain interruptions further in the match.
Bumrah’s Dry Spell
Since making his Test debut against South Africa in 2018, Jasprit Bumrah has become a dominant force for India in the bowling department. He is the main go-to bowler for Kohli in crises. As it happens with every talismanic player, Bumrah also had a dip in form recently and has lost his wicket-taking ability. In the last six Test matches, he has taken just 7 wickets with an ordinary strike rate of 103.4. To illustrate the drought further, he went wicketless in the first innings against New Zealand at Southampton and this also explains the reason why the pressure is back on India despite dismissing Kiwis for a paltry 249. Had Bumrah been at his best India could have dismissed New Zealand cheaply in the first essay but instead allowed the Black Caps to take a slender lead. This meant our batters have to play out of their skins to even salvage a draw in the WTC final.
Tails’ Inability to Wag
This has been a worrying aspect for Team India for some time. The team has a tail that is not only long but lacks the bite as well. Every team has tailenders, who just can’t bat, but for India this painful aspect has hampered the team selection as well. The team management always struggles to get the team balance right as they have to pack in extra batsmen at the cost of a bowler. Even in this Test India missed out on Mohammed Siraj as they could not afford another bowler at the cost of a batsman. Whether it is Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma or Jasprit Bumrah they simply can’t bat and this has robbed India of some valuable 30-40 runs several times in the past. So, in this Test as well, the lack of sting in the tail can hurt India badly.