“For many of us, this is literally the World Cup” - Team India players react to WTC final qualification

Team India celebrate their Test series win over England. Pic: BCCI
Team India celebrate their Test series win over England. Pic: BCCI

Team India players reacted with pride and joy as the team sealed their spot in the World Test Championship (WTC) final. They did so by beating England by an innings and 25 runs in the fourth Test of the four-match series that concluded on Saturday.

In a video posted on the BCCI’s official website, Team India players shared their emotions on reaching the WTC final. Captain Virat Kohli especially expressed relief at making it to the summit clash. He said in this regard:

“We are quite relieved that we have made it to the final. Probably if you look at the last two years or so, the way we have played, we deserve to be in that final. Now, it is just about getting together as a group again and focussing on that one big game, which is quite exciting for all of us.”

The Team India captain managed to score two fifties in the first two Tests of the series but failed in the two games in Ahmedabad. However, during the course of the series, Kohli became Team India’s most successful captain at home, surpassing his predecessor MS Dhoni.

WTC final spot a reward for Team India playing some good cricket: Ajinkya Rahane

According to vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, the WTC final berth is a worthy reward for all the hard work Team India have put in over the last few years.

Rahane, whose performance has come under the scanner for low scores in the series, stuck to the ‘team’ mantra, saying;

“I think the way we came back as a team, each and every individual stepped up. Everyone hung in there. It’s all about the team. We always speak about team goals and how we can contribute for the team. And that’s what we did. I am really happy as an individual and as a vice-captain with our journey. Not only in the championship, before that also, we played some good cricket. That’s the reward we got.”

Opener Rohit Sharma played a key role in Team India reaching the WTC final. It was his century on the opening day of the second Test that swung the momentum the hosts' way. Opining that the team lifted itself from tough circumstances, Rohit Sharma observed:

“It has been a long journey since the World Test Championship started. We played cricket well in India, and outside India as well. We were put under pressure and in difficult situations many a times, and we responded well to those situations, which hich is why we stand here.”

According to the Man of the series Ravichandran Ashwin. The WTC final is literally the World Cup for Team India Test specialists like him, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and a few others. Ashwin, who claimed 32 wickets and also scored a hundred in the series, admitted:

“For people like Puji (Cheteshwar Pujara), me, Jinx (Ajinkya Rahane), Ishant - a lot of us who didn’t play the 2019 World Cup, it is literally the World Cup, to go there in the final. I am so happy for all of them. I am sure we will get a positive result if we adapt quickly, because it is just one match we will have as a final. It would have been nicer if we had three. But, we will live with it and give it our best shot.”

Team India will face New Zealand in the World Test Championship (WTC) final at Lord’s from June 18 to 22.

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