After India’s humiliating eight-wicket loss to New Zealand in the World Test Championship (WTC) final in Southampton, Kapil Dev has defended the team. The World Cup-winning captain claims that the media goes overboard with its criticism after every bad game and overlooks the tournament’s great performances.
The loss in the WTC final was India’s seventh in an ICC knockout since 2013, fueling speculation that Virat Kohli’s team struggles to handle pressure on important occasions. However, Kapil Dev argued that reaching a championship final or semi-final is an accomplishment in and of itself.
He went on to say that the Indian squad has won other games in similar conditions and that one bad performance should not define them.
“Tell me one thing: they are reaching the semi-final or final each and every time, isn’t that an achievement in itself? We criticise very quickly. You can’t win the trophy every time. Look at how well they played. If they lose one match here or the World Cup semi-final, does that mean they are succumbing to pressure? No, that’s not how it goes. They (the opposition) had a better day,; they played better. We see it very critically – one bad performance and the media shows it a hundred times: ‘These guys can’t take the pressure, can’t take pressure’. We have all won a lot of games under the same pressure as well,” Dev said on Sports Yaari’s YouTube channel.
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 25, 2021
With 12 victories, four losses, and a draw in the inaugural WTC, India won the points table. Meanwhile, New Zealand qualified for the final after playing the fewest games among the top-eight teams (11), winning seven of them.
Five-Test series against England looming for Team India next
This isn’t just a team. It’s a family. We move ahead. TOGETHER 💙🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/E5ATtCGWLo
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) June 24, 2021
Virat Kohli may have failed to leave his mark on the World T20 final, but he will get another chance in just a few weeks.
Since 2007, when India last won a Test series in England, they have been outplayed. They appeared to be the most competitive in almost a decade in 2018, but they were unable to capitalize key moments, losing the series 4-1.
Kohli and his teammates will have the finest chance to correct the record in England in the next five Tests against Joe Root’s side. A decisive series victory would not only heal the team’s wounds from the previous few years, but it would also dispel any worries about its future potential.
The showpiece five-match series kicks out on August 4 at Trent Bridge with the first Test.