Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan feels that the lack of a pace-bowling all-rounder hurt India in the WTC Final loss to New Zealand. He points out that India didn’t have anyone who could play the role Colin de Grandhomme did for the Kiwis.

India went with Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja for the mega-clash as the two all-rounders, but, Irfan Pathan believes, they needed a seam-bowling all-rounder to make use of the conditions on offer at The Ageas Bowl.

He reckons India went with a batter less and were disappointing – the team was skittled for 217 and 170 by the four-man pace (plus Grandhomme) bowling attack. India have had trouble with finding a long-term seam-bowling all-rounder; currently, Hardik Pandya has the quality, but he is dealing with fitness issues that have kept him away from Test cricket for three years.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya hasn’t played Test cricket for three years. Image-Google

“I think India played with fewer batsmen – which I highlighted before the ICC World Test Championship Final. I feel there was a need for one more batsman in the team. We do not have quality fast-bowling all-rounder – which New Zealand possesses – and it is hard to find one,” Irfan Pathan said while speaking with Star Sports. 

“Now, If we talk from a proper cricketing point of view – what went wrong for India? I think the first inning went great, but Team India’s batting in the second inning was disappointing. The ball wasn’t swinging as much in the second inning, and Indian batsmen could have batted more responsibly,” he added.

India didn’t get enough match practice: Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan, who represented India in over 150 internationals across formats, reckons another reason for India’s saddening performance would be the lack of match practice – India played a solitary intra-squad match while New Zealand defeated England in a 2-Test series before the WTC Final.

New Zealand Cricket Team, ICC World Test Championship
New Zealand Cricket Team pose with the ICC Test Mace after winning the World Test Championship final against India. (Photo: Twitter)

“By the time we (India) started fielding for the second session, our bowlers were already tired. This happened because India didn’t get enough match practice. When a team gets less match practice, they don’t have the kind of match fitness required for a particular game. I feel this will improve eventually,” the 36-year-old former all-rounder opined.

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