World Test Championship: India’s Road Ahead After First Loss

India lost their first Test in the ongoing World Test Championship as they were beaten by New Zealand in the first Test in Wellington. New Zealand registered a resounding win by 10 wickets as India finally were beaten in the WTC. This is their second overseas tour after they played the Windies to kick off their journey in the World Test Championship. We take a look at India’s road ahead after first loss.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli in the post-match press conference spoke about the reasons why India lost the match. He said they let themselves down with the bat and weren’t competitive enough in this Test match. 

“This is a game where we didn’t show enough competitiveness. In the past, we have known we have played good cricket even when we have lost, and we have been in the game. But I think we let ourselves down massively with the bat in the first innings” said Kohli. 

Also Read: Zero Tons in 19 Innings: Stats Reveal Virat Kohli’s Leanest Form Since 2014 England Tour

India’s road ahead after first loss in the World Test Championship gets only tougher from here on. Down 1-0 in the series, now they travel to Christchurch aiming to redeem themselves. Before the next Test begins from February 29, India needs to address their batting issues. 

Kohli, Pujara’s Failure

The likes of Kohli and Pujara, who were dismissed cheaply in the first Test need to be back among the runs. Meanwhile, Kohli has endured his worst run since the 2014 England tour. No hundreds in his last 20 innings, Kohli’s problem against the moving ball also has been exposed.

Cheteshwar Pujara meanwhile has registered scores of 11 each in both innings, while India as a batting group has failed to reach 200 twice. While he was dismissed outside the off stump in the first innings, he was dismissed of an incoming delivery from Trent Boult in the second innings. Where Pujara’s knocks has hurt India is the fact that he has failed to get going, after soaking up a number of deliveries in both innings. Ajinkya Rahane was the only senior player who was among the runs in both innings (82 & 29). 

Indian Bowlers Failing to Bowl Out NZ’s Tailenders

The Indian bowlers once again failed to dismiss the Kiwi tailenders after the latter was 225 for 7 after Tim Southee’s dismissal. Colin De Grandhomme (43) Trent Boult (38) and Kyle Jamieson (44) put together runs to take the Kiwi lead to 183. Going ahead, the Indian bowlers will need to learn to bowl out their opposition when they are in an advantageous position. 

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The Opening Partnership

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While Mayank Agarwal looked solid until his stay at the crease, Prithvi Shaw was found wanting to the short delivery in the second innings and an incoming delivery in the first. This has hurt India in getting good starts in both innings. India’s road ahead after losing first loss in the World Test Championship will need their openers to give them good starts in their remaining campaign. They will play against Australia and England to round off their campaign and the opening partnership will be key in both the series. Rohit Sharma’s return to the opening spot will bolster the top-order with him being in dream form recently. 

India to Play Australia & England

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After the two-Test match series against the Kiwis, Team India will play Australia and England in their road ahead in the World Test Championship. Remaining unbeaten so far in every Test series in the WTC, India will need to win the next Test against the Kiwis to level the series and maintain an unbeaten run. India next play Australia in a four-Test match series in the Border-Gavaskar trophy in Australia between November-December later this year. 

They play England in a five-Test match series at home to cap off their campaign. Including the current series against the Kiwis, the last three series in the WTC will be India’s toughest in the competition. India’s road ahead after first loss in the World Test Championship and their journey to the finals is still a long away. The final of the World Test Championship will be played from 10 June 2021. 

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