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WTC Final 2023, India vs Australia – The Conclusion

The World Test Championship (WTC) Final, held in 2023, witnessed an exhilarating clash between cricketing giants Australia and India. Australia emerged victorious, displaying their supremacy in the red-ball format and securing a commanding win over India by 209 runs.

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In this comprehensive article, we delve into the highlights of the match, analyze the performances of both teams and explore the implications for the upcoming Ashes series.

The dominance of the Australian Team

From the onset of the WTC Final, Australia demonstrated its prowess, seizing control of the game. Their opening partnership, comprising David Warner and Usman Khawaja, faced initial struggles but the rest of the team rallied together to create a formidable challenge for India.

Star batsmen Steve Smith and Travis Head emerged as the heroes of the Australian innings, both scoring centuries and rescuing their team from a precarious position.

Captain Pat Cummins led by example, showcasing his all-round skills and claiming three wickets in the first innings. Supporting bowlers such as Starc, Boland, and Green also contributed significantly, enabling Australia to dominate India's batting lineup.

India's Struggles and Missed Opportunities

Despite entering the WTC Final as strong contenders, the Indian team faced numerous setbacks throughout the match. The experienced Indian batsmen failed to deliver, succumbing to the relentless pressure exerted by Australia's formidable bowling attack.

The decision to exclude R Ashwin, a highly skilled spinner with an impressive track record, from the starting lineup proved to be a critical blunder. Ravindra Jadeja, though a talented player in his own right, could not replicate the impact Ashwin would have had on the match.

Ashwin's ability to trouble the Australian batsmen on foreign pitches, as evidenced by his past performances, could have been a game-changer for Team India.

Reflections and Lessons for Team India

In the aftermath of the WTC Final, Team India needs to introspect and address the issues that contributed to their defeat. The reliance on senior players like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, whose failures put immense pressure on the younger generation, demands a reevaluation of the team composition.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the selection committee should actively scout for emerging talents who can replace underperforming senior players. It is crucial to strike a balance between experienced players and fresh talent to ensure a dynamic and resilient team.

Furthermore, the timing of the WTC Final immediately after the Indian Premier League (IPL) raised concerns, with players having limited time to transition and prepare adequately. The selection committee should consider granting players like Rohit Sharma the option to prioritize international cricket over the IPL, enabling them to focus on crucial tournaments and avoid fatigue-induced performance dips.

Sarfaraz Khan: A Potential Asset for Team India

One notable omission from the WTC squad was Sarfaraz Khan, a promising talent who has displayed exceptional skills in domestic cricket. While concerns have been raised regarding his attitude, the BCCI has a history of managing such cases and guiding players toward success.

It would be prudent for the selection committee to provide Sarfaraz with an opportunity to prove his worth in the senior team. This step not only fosters healthy competition but also strengthens the nation's cricketing pool, addressing the decline in overall cricket quality.

Australia Confident for The Ashes

Australian opening partnership, David Warner and Usman Khawaja struggled in both innings but the rest of the team did a great job overall. Steve Smith handled the pressure and scored in the first inning and Travis Head was his partner in crime. Both Head and Smith scored centuries and bought the Australian inning back on track.

Skipper Pat Cummins picked up 3 wickets in the first innings with Starc, Boland, and Green picking up 2 wickets each. In the second inning, Australia had a below-average start but their lower order gave a huge push to the overall score including Alex Carry scoring 66 runs at a strike rate of 62.86.

Australia will now play against England for the historical “Ashes” series and skipper Pat Cummins will be confident enough for the 5-match Test series. He has every weapon in his squad to outnumber the English players but before the start of the series, the opening order must resolve their issues.

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