Kapil Dev Defends Indian Team Despite WTC Final Loss Against New Zealand
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Kapil Dev Defends Indian Team Despite WTC Final Loss Against New Zealand

World Test Championship, India
Indian test team[photo: Twitter]

Kapil Dev has defended the Indian team after their humbling eight-wicket defeat to eventual WTC winner New Zealand in the World Test Championship final in Southampton. The 1983 World Cup-winning captain said the media often goes overboard with its unfair criticism after every poor outing of India and tends to overlook the better performances in the tournament.

The WTC final loss was India’s fifth loss straight in an ICC knockout since 2013 as it brought up perceptions that Virat Kohli’s men succumb under the pressure of the big occasion. Kapil Dev, though, insisted that reaching a final or semi-final in tournaments is an achievement in itself.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]

Kapil Dev: One Can’t Win The Trophy Every Time

Kapil Dev added that the Indian team has won innumerable games under similar situations, so one poor outing shouldn’t define them.

“Tell me one thing: they are reaching the semi-final or final each and every time, isn’t that an achievement in itself? We criticise very quickly. You can’t win the trophy every time. Look at how well they played. If they lose one match here or the World Cup semi-final, does that mean they are succumbing to pressure? No, that’s not how it goes.”

Kapil Dev, BCCI
Kapil Dev, BCCI

“They (the opposition) had a better day,; they played better. We see it very critically – one bad performance and the media shows it a hundred times: ‘These guys can’t take the pressure, can’t take pressure’. We have all won a lot of games under the same pressure as well,” Kapil Dev said on Sports Yaari’s YouTube channel.

India topped the points table in the inaugural WTC cycle (2019-21) with 12 wins, four losses, and a draw. New Zealand, meanwhile, reached the summit clash after playing the least number of games among the top-eight teams – 11 – winning seven of them.

Ajinkya Rahane was one of six batsmen to have registered more than 1000 runs in the current WTC cycle(1095 runs). Rohit Sharma (1030) was the other Indian batsman to be in the top six. Ravichandran Ashwin(67 scalps) was also one of five bowlers in the world to have taken more than 50 wickets in the current WTC cycle.

Virat Kohli’s Men To Face England In A 5 Match Test Series

Virat Kohli might have failed to stamp his legacy in the WTC final, but he will get an opportunity to redeem himself in just a few weeks when India faces England in a 5 match Test series. India’s last Test series win in England came in 2007. In 2018, they looked the most competitive in over a decade but lost the series 4-1.

India’s 2007 triumph in England AFP
India’s 2007 triumph in England AFP

The upcoming five Tests against Joe Root’s men will give Virat Kohli-led India arguably the best opportunity to set the record straight in England. An emphatic series win would not only heal the wounds of the past few years but also clear any doubts about the team’s future prospects. The first Test of the marquee five-match series will commence on August 4 at Trent Bridge.

England played the most Tests in the World Test Championship, with no team matching their tally of 21. India was second with 17 matches, while bottom-placed Bangladesh played just seven Tests. England won 11 Tests losing 7 while 3 were drawn. India won 12 Tests, lost 4, and drew 1. New Zealand who qualified for WTC Final won 7 Tests and lost 4. Australia won 8, lost 4, and drew 2.

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