World Test Championship final: “Don’t think India have got a problem on the big stage”


Simon Doull disagrees with the newly-built narrative that India have a problem with handling pressure in knockout ICC events. The cricketer-turned commentator instead feels that Virat Kohli’s men have repeatedly come against extraordinary performances from an opposition player or simply a ‘better team’.

India’s chastening defeat to New Zealand in the World Test Championship (WTC) final on Wednesday was the latest in a series of losses in the deciders. The side hasn’t won an ICC trophy since 2013, despite reaching the semi-finals in every tournament, with the best players often failing to stand up in crunch situations.

However, Simon Doull said that a losing team is always looked at through a negative glass. He argued that even New Zealand have had a similar run but it didn’t mean that they were not good enough to win multi-nation titles.

“I don’t think so. I didn’t ever think that New Zealand had an issue playing on the big stage for the most part either. It’s just sometimes, somedays, you come up against a guy who’s on song, [like] a Trent Boult who’s just finding that length and the line and the ball starts to swing and you don’t find a way. I think it’s always easy to look at what your team is doing bad and I am guilty of that as well and sometimes you just look around and you say, ‘You know what? They were just a bit too good for us’,” Simon Doull said on Cricbuzz.

In India’s eight-wicket defeat to New Zealand, no batter could put up a half-century and the bowlers struggled for consistency. Skipper Virat Kohli returned scores of 44 and 13, while Jasprit Bumrah surprisingly went wicketless.

“Indian players are better groomed for the big stage than anyone” – Simon Doull

Citing examples of a couple of match-changing moments in the recent ICC deciders, Simon Doull suggested that cricket games change unpredictably and that doesn’t mean one team has a problem on the big stage.

He even asserted that Indian players are the best ‘groomed’ for high-pressure games because of the IPL.

“Martin Guptill hitting the stumps from 40 meters, MS is out by that much. We might be having a different conversation [otherwise]. You know, Ben Stokes diving and the ball hitting the bat, we might be having a different conversation about New Zealand [otherwise]. These things happen and they happen day in day out in games of cricket. I don’t ever think that India have got a problem on the big stage. I think, their players are better groomed for the big stage than anyone, to be honest, through the IPL. I just think that on the odd occasion they have come against the better side, a guy having a great day out,” added Simon Doull.

Concluding his remarks, Simon Doull also questioned whether India’s selection choices have played a role in these defeats. He said:

“For the last couple of tournaments, there’s been talk around selection again. Are they taking the wrong guys every now and then in the tournament?”

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava






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