The Indian team arrived in the UK on June 3 ahead of their World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand in Southampton. Indian players have been regularly sharing updates via pictures from their team hotel at the Ageas Bowl.
Taking to his official Instagram handle, Virat Kohli uploaded a picture with Pujara and Gill, captioning it:
“The sun brings out smiles @shubmangill @cheteshwar_pujara”
Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan replied to the picture by posting fire emojis.
While India will take on the BlackCaps in the WTC final from June 18, New Zealand are currently engaged in a two-match Test series with England.
In some welcome news for the Indian players, they will get a 20-day break from the bio-bubble life in England after the WTC final. They will disperse on June 24 and rejoin the bubble about twenty days later, ahead of the five-Test series against England. A source was quoted as telling ANI in this regard:
"The group will head off for the break on June 24 after the final against New Zealand and then regroup again around July 14 to prepare for the Test series against England, which gets underway on August 4."
Ramiz Raja compares Virat Kohli to Lionel Messi
Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja has compared India captain Virat Kohli to Argentine football legend Lionel Messi over his failure to win major tournaments. Incidentally, Virat Kohli is yet to win an ICC title as captain, but that could change after the WTC final against New Zealand.
In an interview with India TV, Ramiz Raja said that the WTC final is a great opportunity for Virat Kohli to turn things around. The former Pakistan captain said in this regard:
“Look at Sir Viv Richards. He always used to perform on big occasions. The WTC final will be a great opportunity for Kohli to score a ton and lead India to a trophy. He’s already among legends, but leading India to the WTC trophy will be one more feather in his cap. A podium like this is a great chance for Kohli to enter the club of ‘all-time greats’. He’s got the ability to do that.”
Drawing a comparison with Messi, Raja added:
“Some big names like Lionel Messi are yet to win major silverware with Argentina. It’s all about temperament. Performing in big games like a World Cup final proves a player’s mettle.”
Virat Kohli-led India lost to New Zealand by 18 runs when the two teams met in an ICC event - the 2019 World Cup semi-final in Manchester.