The Indian cricket team were bruised and battered by the Pakistan cricket team in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 which was held at the Kennington Oval in London. The Green Army lifted the trophy for the first time and it was a completely one-sided final as they defeated India by 180 runs.
Virat Kohli addressed the media in the post-match press conference and spoke about a number of issues ranging from Hardik Pandya’s heartbreak to whether including Ravichandran Ashwin was the right decision.
“Every spinner has challenges on a flat deck. Even the wrist spinner could go for runs like Hardik proved against Shadab Khan,” he said backing Ashwin’s inclusion in the playing XI of the final.
“It becomes difficult, and when batsmen start slogging and getting away with it. There is only something a spinner can do. You need to understand if there is something which is not under not your control and you have to move on,” he concluded.
Ravichandran Ashwin’s inclusion in the playing XI was questioned by a few former cricketers such as Gautam Gambhir who felt that Umesh Yadav should have been preferred over the off-spinner.
He missed out in the playing XI for the Men in Blue in their first two matches of the tournament but made his way back into the side for the virtual quarter-final against South Africa. He performed well in the match picking up one wicket and not giving away too many runs. However, he gave away a lot of runs against Bangladesh in the semifinal as the Bangladeshi batsmen tore apart his bowling.
With the Oval pitch expected to bounce a lot, Ashwin’s inclusion was always a risky one. Unfortunately for team India, the move didn’t pay off and they sure missed the absence of an Umesh Yadav or a Mohammad Shami.
The Pakistan batsmen had a field day with the bat with a lot of luck on their side as well. The Indian bowlers started off well with Bumrah getting a quick breakthrough in the 4th over of the innings. Unfortunately, it was a no ball and the decision was reversed and to add salt to the wound, Fakhar Zaman went on to score a match-winning century.
In their response, the Indian batsmen crumbled with Mohammad Amir ripping through the top order. With India reeling at 72-6, Hardik led the revival with a magnificent knock of 76 in 43 balls. However, a mix up between Ravindra Jadeja and Pandya led to his dismissal. From there on, the Pakistani bowlers cleaned up the tail and eventually won the match.