India captain Virat Kohli opines that the result of a single Test match – which is the World Test Championship Final – will not be a measure of their journey and success over the last five years.
Starting Friday, at The Rose Bowl in Southampton, the Asian giants will take on Kane Williamson’s side in the final of the inaugural WTC, a first-of-its-kind Test tournament that has run for two years, where India and New Zealand finished as the top two teams.
Despite its great significance in the history of Test cricket, and for both the nations as well, who have been in search of an ICC title for a long time – New Zealand longer than India – for Virat Kohli it will “just another Test match”. While he states that it would be an iconic moment in the game, like their maiden Tests, the sport will not stop on this, whether they lose or win.
“One game over five days. It’s not going to reflect anything and those who understand the game know and also what has gone over the period of last four to five years. If we win, cricket will not stop and if we lose also, cricket won’t stop. We are playing in the quest for excellence and understand who we are as a team,” Virat Kohli said on the eve of the mega-final.
“This is just another Test match. All these things (WTC final) look good from the outside. One game can’t become a do-or-die game. It’s a great moment but cricket goes on just like life goes on.
“The occasion needs to be enjoyed and no more important than the first Test that we all played as young players trying to rise through the ranks. We need to have belief in our abilities and keep things simple. It’s a contest between bat and ball,” he added.
India announce playing XI
Following Virat Kohli’s press conference, India have announced their playing XI for the marquee clash, which the skipper had termed as their “strongest side” with all bases covered.
They have gone with 5 bowling options, which include Ravindra Jadeja as the all-rounder meaning Hanuma Vihari will be benched. Other than Vihari, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, and Wriddhiman Saha are excluded from the 15-man squad announced earlier.
India Playing XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.