Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan feels that Virat Kohli won’t be looking to settle with a draw in the ongoing WTC Final versus New Zealand and if India sees off the first hour, then the skipper would go for the kill in Southampton.
By stumps on Day 5, India have a 32-run lead with 8 wickets in hand going into the Day 6 (Reserve Day). Irfan Pathan opines that knowing the aggressive mindset of Kohli, the Indian skipper would be looking to record a victory, despite the shortage of time left in the game.
“We know Virat Kohli is a very aggressive captain. He would always go for the kill, always go for the win. But he would also understand the situation that New Zealand are slightly ahead. But that one hour, if we don’t lose more than one wicket, then we would see the aggressive Virat Kohli there. Obviously, Cheteshwar Pujara will be very crucial as well in that one hour,” Irfan Pathan told Star Sports.
If India reach somewhere close to 160-mark, and then they can declare: Irfan Pathan
New Zealand have a straight forward route to win, which is to bowl India out and chase down the target. On the other hand, the Asian giants have plenty to think about their declaration. Irfan Pathan believes that if India get to a total around 160 in 40 overs, and ask the Kiwis to either go for the target of play out 50 more overs to draw.
The Reserve Day, which is predicted to not have any rain interruptions, if played in full will see a maximum of 98 overs played out. Considering that New Zealand batted 99 overs in their first innings, it would be a massive ask from the Indian bowlers to bowl them out in 50 overs, despite of the bowling friendly conditions.
“I see India playing around 40 overs. and try to get as many runs as possible. If India reach somewhere close to 160-mark, and then they can give batting and see if they can get early wickets. We have seen in these five days, the morning session has done a bit when it comes to fast bowling moving around. Once you take out that, the game could still be on,” the commentator added.