“I think you should ask Kohli, What was that shot?” Sunil Gavaskar Criticizes Indian Team’s Batting Collapse In WTC Final

The ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final witnessed a disappointing performance from the Indian team, particularly their star batsmen, as they crumbled on the final day during a challenging 444 run-chase. Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar strongly disapproved of the team’s shot selection and overall batting display, holding them accountable for their defeat against Australia at The Oval.

Australia scripted history by claiming the ICC World Test Championship title with a resounding victory over India by 209 runs at The Oval in London. Displaying dominance throughout the five-day match, Australia secured their first-ever WTC title, becoming the only team to win all major ICC trophies. India’s run-chase of 444 ended with a final score of 234 all out in 63.3 overs, with Mohammad Shami being the last batsman standing with a score of 13 (8).

India began the final day in a promising position at 164/3, with skipper Virat Kohli (44) and Ajinkya Rahane (20) at the crease. However, in the early stages of the first session, Kohli attempted to chase a ball pitched outside off stump, resulting in an edge that went straight into the hands of Steve Smith at slips. Gavaskar criticized Kohli’s shot, describing it as a poor and unnecessary stroke played far outside the off stump.

Expressing his disappointment, Sunil Gavaskar questioned Kohli’s shot selection and emphasized the importance of building long innings to secure victory. Gavaskar believed that Kohli’s desire to reach his half-century might have influenced his shot, ultimately sparking India’s downfall on the final day. The legendary cricketer pointed out that such lapses in concentration have also been observed in other players, citing Ravindra Jadeja’s dismissal when he played an unnecessary shot while nearing his half-century in the first innings.

“It was a bad shot. It was an ordinary shot. You are asking me about it, and I think you should ask Kohli, What was that shot? That was a shot outside the off-stump. We talked so much about winning a match, and you need a long inning. You need a century. How are you going to make a century if you are going to play a shot so far outside the off-stump,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports.

Gavaskar did not limit his criticism to Kohli alone but extended it to the entire Indian batting unit. He labelled the batting display as “shambles” and described the shot selection as “ridiculous.”

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Gavaskar expressed disappointment at the team’s inability to survive even a single session with eight wickets. He questioned the team’s prospects of winning when such ordinary shots were played and stressed the need for improved shot-making and resilience.

“Pretty ordinary shot [by Kohli] outside the off stump. He had been leaving till then. He flashes at one outside the off stump. Maybe he thought he needed one run to get to a half-century. A lot of time, it happens. You are nearing a milestone. It happened to Jadeja (Ravindra Jadeja), I think. He played at a delivery he shouldn’t have when he was 48 [in the first innings],” said Gavaskar.

Sunil Gavaskar’s critical assessment of the Indian team’s batting collapse in the WTC final highlights the missed opportunities and poor shot selection that led to their defeat against Australia. With a target of 444 runs to chase, India’s batting unit failed to sustain their performance, resulting in a disappointing end to their WTC campaign. As the team reflects on this defeat, they will analyze their shot selection and strive to improve their resilience in high-pressure situations.

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