Former Indian batsman Dilip Vengsarkar has expressed his displeasure at the way India prepared for the WTC Final and questioned Virat Kohli's intent in regards to it. He also added that New Zealand were well prepared and India should have also played two four-day games before the clash.
Going into the WTC final, New Zealand had the distinct advantage of playing two Tests against the hosts England. On the other hand, most of the Indian players came into the marquee clash, having last featured in the IPL. India did play an intra-squad game though but the preparations were nowhere close to New Zealand and it showed in the WTC Final as well when Indian players found it harder to adapt to the conditions.
Reflecting on India's loss, former Indian batsman Dilip Vengsarkar stated that the Indian captain Virat Kohli should have shown intent in terms of preparation and India should have had warm-up games ahead of the clash against New Zealand.
“If he is talking about intent, then why didn’t the team prepare properly for this match? Where was the intent then? They should have played at least two four-day games. You want to know whether the players are match fit or not by playing those games. The fast bowlers will know what lengths to hit straightway only in those practice games,” Dilip Vengsarkar told PTI, reported India Today.
He termed India's poor preparation as the major cause of their loss at the hands of the Kane Williamson-led New Zealand in Southampton.
“I enjoyed watching Test cricket over this cycle. India did extremely well over this cycle but what cost them in the final was their poor preparation. They went into such a game without any practise games. New Zealand on the other hand were match fit having already played two games (against England).”
There were a lot of debates around India's composition for the game with many experts suggesting that India missed a trick by not fielding a specialist pacer or a batter. However, Vengsarkar reckons that India played the right combination.
“You see, we had beaten Australia with a similar combination more or less. It was the best team they picked under the circumstances. Whether you announce it on the day of the game or day before it doesn’t make much difference. You have an idea about the conditions anyway.”
The WTC Final loss marked India's third ICC knock-out loss under the captaincy of Virat Kohli. There has always been a debate around split captaincy in India. Talking about that, the former Indian chief selector suggested that Kohli should only be replaced if he can't make it to the side as a player.
“If Virat is good enough to play in all formats which he very much is, than he should continue leading the side. He should only be replaced if he doesn’t merit a place in the side. ODI captain playing under Test captain and vice versa, I dont believe in that. If Joe Root is playing under Morgan in ODIs, I don’t agree with that because he is also good enough to lead that side,” the 65-year-old added.