Aakash Chopra feels that no matter how well the Indian team played in the ICC World Test Championship, the cricket fraternity will only remember the side which won the final and lifted the trophy at the end of the day.
India lost by 8 wickets in the WTC Final against New Zealand and had to give up the ICC Test mace after owning it for 5 years in succession. Captain Virat Kohli’s wait for an ICC trophy continues as he lost a major tournament final for the second time after the Champions Trophy in 2017.
Aakash Chopra: Unfortunately History Will Remember The Unplanned Hour
The lack of ICC trophies in Virat Kohli’s cabinet is a stark contrast to his predecessor MS Dhoni, who is still the only captain to win the T20 World Cup (2007), 50-over World Cup (2011), and the Champions Trophy (2013).
While India failed to win the T20 World Cups in 2014 and 2016 and the 2015 ODI World Cup under MS Dhoni, the talismanic captain had led the team to three ICC titles before that. Virat Kohli will also hope to put the captaincy debate to rest by winning the forthcoming T20 World Cup scheduled later this year.
Virat Kohli’s counterpart Kane Williamson laid his hands on the Test mace for the first time as New Zealand was officially crowned the first world champions of Test cricket on June 23. Aakash Chopra pointed out how one bad session on the final day of the Test undid two years of hard work and success for the Indian team. India won the Test series in Australia and England at home before losing to nemesis New Zealand in the marquee final.
“They might have started the final day with the thought of forcing a result, but the twin wickets of Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara put them on the back foot in the first hour. This Indian team has stayed at the top of the Test rankings for five straight years.”
“But unfortunately history will remember the one hour that India didn’t plan. The legacy of teams and captains is defined by the trophies they win; it doesn’t matter how many battles you win if you fail to win the war,” Aakash Chopra wrote for ESPNCricinfo.
The final hanged in balance on the final 6th reserve day with all 3 results possible before the reserve sixth day but the game tilted completely in favour of New Zealand in the first session when they reduced India to 72 for 4, thanks to a brilliant spell from Kyle Jamieson in which he removed Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara in quick succession. The 6th reserve day determined the winners after Day 1 and Day 4 were washed out.
New Zealand Was Asked To Chase Only 139 Runs Which They Achieved To Win Their 2nd ICC Trophy After 2000 Champions Trophy
India eventually folded for 170 in their second innings on a good batting day in Southampton, leaving New Zealand just 139 runs to chase which they did comfortably in just one session, losing only 2 wickets, to win their second ICC trophy after the 2000 Champions Trophy.
The architects of New Zealand’s victory were Kane Williamson(49 and 52*), Kyle Jamieson (5/31 in the 1st innings), and Tim Southee (4/48 in the 2nd innings). New Zealand was so disciplined with the ball throughout the match that they didn’t let an Indian batsman score a fifty in the entire Test.
Aakash Chopra highlighted India’s prominent players have underperformed in knockout matches. Aakash Chopra pointed out that it is not just the batsmen who have not delivered the goods in crunch matches, the bowlers too have failed in knockout matches. New Zealand is the only team to defeat India thrice.