New Delhi: Former England skipper Alastair Cook reckons India got a bit confident in picking their playing XI for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand three days before the game. India had announced its final XI on Thursday and the match was to begin from Friday at Ageas Bowl, Southampton.
However, the opening day was completely washed out without a ball being bowled. Thus, the Indian team had a chance to alter their playing XI on the second day but Virat Kohli decided to back its two spinners in Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin.
As it turned out, Ravindra Jadeja didn’t play a major role as he scalped a solitary wicket and couldn’t also deliver the goods with the bat. Jadeja bowled a total of 15.2 overs in both innings combined. In fact, it was felt that India picked Jadeja over a seam bowler like Mohammed Siraj because of the all-rounder’s batting abilities.
However, as the conditions at Ageas Bowl, Southampton was overcast, it won’t have been a bad idea to go with four seamers just like New Zealand did.
“They (India) got a bit confident in picking that side three days out before (the game) and playing two spinners where they pretty much knew it was going to rain for a lot of that game. So a lot of seam bowling was bowled. Even though their spinners are world-class, they got a little bit ahead of themselves there,” said Cook on the Tuffers and Vaughan podcast on BBC Sport.
Cook added that he had predicted New Zealand’s win because they were able to get the match practice after playing two Test matches against England whereas India was not well prepared.
“I did say New Zealand was going to win that game purely down to the fact that they were match-hardened. Those two Test matches against England were such perfect preparation,” said Cook.
“Intra-squad games, as good as your intention might be, they haven’t got the same intensity. The first hour might be really competitive but everything goes less and less and less. India was hard done by that way,” he added.