Kane Williamson led New Zealand are all set to take on India in the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) final. Prior to that, veteran India pacer Ishant Sharma said that it is nothing less than playing a 50-over World Cup. Meanwhile, the experienced off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has believed that the Kiwis will have the advantage considering they have played two Tests against England recently.
However, he also stated that the Indian team will have to adapt and be ready for every challenge as well. Notably, the WTC final will take place from September 18-22 as well.
“I expect a well planned and knit New Zealand team to come at us. Having played two Tests definitely come with an advantage so we have to adapt to that,” Ashwin said to ‘bcci.tv’, referring to New Zealand’s two-match Test series against England.
“It’s been a practical as well as emotional journey, and this is an ICC tournament which is as big as 50 over WC final,” Ishant Sharma said. “Virat (Kohli) has said this is not our sweat and hardwork of just one month but over a period of two years. We had to work harder because of COVID, then rule change happened and we were under pressure and then we won a tough series in Australia. We came back against England as we had to win 3-1.”
On the other hand, another pacer Mohammed Shami has also revealed that it is going to be the “best feeling” for him. Moreover, he will return to the squad after a long time as he had sustained a wrist fracture in the first Test in Adelaide as well.
“It’s about giving 110 per cent as this is last ditch effort of our two years of hardwork. It’s important that we give it our all and double our effort for sometime. The best feeling for me is that without us seniors, our youngsters achieved in Australia, new boys put their hands up to be counted emerging as new stars. Its also a learning process and it helps you boost your confidence and the benchmark that has been set,” Shami said.
Meanwhile, Ishant Sharma has also agreed with Shami’s words. “I think the belief that we can come back from anywhere was huge. It helped Indian cricket enter the next phase. Even though I wasn’t a part, I felt that series gave a different kind of self belief,” Ishant further added.
Meanwhile, R Ashwin has also opened up about how WTC has helped Test cricket grow and he would love to see more traditional format games in neutral venues as well.
“In all these years, it has never happened and it’s the most exciting part of playing Test cricket and we have never played a team in a neutral venue. Going forward, WTC can add context with two teams playing away from home, sort of bringing the ebbs and flows of the game. In India, reverse swing comes into play but in UK, you have to alter the length and pitch it up so that the ball swings more. Altering the length is not easy and it takes effort because it’s cold over here and adjusting to the weather takes time,” Ishant Sharma again shared as well.