WTC final: "There was a need for 1 more batsman" - Irfan Pathan criticizes India's team selection

India lost the WTC final by 8 wickets.
India lost the WTC final by 8 wickets.

Irfan Pathan feels Team India went in with the wrong combination in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand, adding that Virat Kohli and co. should have played one extra batsman.

India selected two spinners in the form of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin in conditions that were conducive to seam bowling.

As there was no seam-bowling all-rounder in the Indian team, Irfan Pathan stated that the Men in Blue should have gone in with an extra batsman for the WTC final.

Speaking on the Star Sports show "Follow The Blues", the former Indian all-rounder said:

"I think India played with fewer batsmen, which I highlighted before the ICC World Test Championship final. I feel there was a need for one more batsman in the team. We do not have quality fast-bowling all-arounder, which New Zealand possesses, and it is hard to find one."

India's batting performance on the final day of the WTC final came under scrutiny as they were bundled out for 170 in what was supposed to be the best day for batting with bright sunshine around.

"A sense of responsibility was required" - Irfan Pathan

Rishabh Pant was dismissed for 41 in the second innings of the WTC final.
Rishabh Pant was dismissed for 41 in the second innings of the WTC final.

Irfan Pathan was also critical of Rishabh Pant and others when they tried to throw caution to the wind on the reserve day by playing aggressive strokes.

Pant's manner of dismissal for 41 runs in the second innings bemused several some Test purists. The wicketkeeper-batsman stepped out to play an extravagant shot to Trent Boult before top-edging it and eventually getting caught.

Irfan Pathan explained that Team India should have shown more commitment and a sense of responsibility with the bat in the second innings. He elaborated:

"The ball wasn't swinging as much in the second innings, and Indian batsmen could have batted more responsibly. I am aware of Rishabh Pant's capabilities as a batsman and how he can hit balls very well, but that does not mean you hit a fast bowler outside, a sense of responsibility was required. Indian batters were using a lot of pull shots on bouncers; instead of using their body and this showed a lack of commitment."

Virat Kohli and his men will be keen to iron out their flaws before they take on England in a five-match Test series, starting in August.

Edited by Samya Majumdar
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