Australia Favorites For WTC Final, Says Ravi Shastri Before Explaining Advantage For Team India
Jun 5, 2023 at 9:48 AM
Former India head coach Ravi Shastri believes that while Australia will be the favorites for the upcoming ICC World Test Championship final, India are better prepared for the same.
India and Australia will be resuming their celebrated Test rivalry when they take on each other in the much-anticipated ICC WTC Final, scheduled to start from June 7 at the Oval in London. The English conditions and their formidable pace bowling attack has made many tip Australia as the favourites.
And while Ravi Shastri also has the same opinion, he believes Indian players are better prepared for the clash due to playing ample amount of cricket during the recently-concluded IPL 2023. The former India allrounder said that if Jasprit Bumrah had been present, India would have started on an equal footing, if not as favourites.
“I would say if you look at pace attack, if Bumrah was there, I would say it was equal with an attack of Mohammed Shami, Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj. But that Aussie attack with Starc, Cummins, may be the match fitness that will come into play,” Ravi Shastri said at the ICC’s ‘Afternoon with Test Legends’ event.
“Match fitness might come into play. You need some cricket behind you and staying in the park for six hours for five days is different from bowling in nets for two hours every day. Shami might be key as he has been playing a lot of cricket,” Shastri added.
Ravi Shastri on losing ICC WTC final in 2021:
Ravi Shastri was Team India’s coach when they qualified for the final of the maiden WTC final. Under Virat Kohli’s captaincy, India were up against New Zealand and were favorites to win the clash. However, the Black Caps stunned their fancied hosts to register a historic triumph. Recalling the loss, Shastri admitted that it still hurts.
“When you don’t win, it hurts as you are not there to fill in numbers. But if I look in hindsight, compared to that World Test Championship cycle, it’s chalk and cheese.
“There was COVID-19, quarantines. It was hard on players, 14 days in isolation and then seven days of training. Here both teams have had time to prepare and this one will be a good contest,” he said.