Former India captain Gavaskar talks about the Indian cricket team’s nearing challenges in transitioning to the longer format of Test cricket for the ICC WTC Final, in which they will face World No.1 Australia at The Oval in London commencing June 7, 2023.
The IPL 2023 is over, and the emphasis now switches to the highly anticipated World Test Championship (WTC) final, which will take place at The Oval on June 7. This is India’s second appearance in the Test Championship final, and they have a wonderful opportunity to overcome their trophy drought in several ICC events.
The main hurdle for India would be adapting rapidly to English circumstances after competing in the two-month-long Indian Premier League at home, as batting icon Sunil Gavaskar pointed out.
Sunil Gavaskar is a former Indian cricketer who is regarded as one of the game’s best-opening batters. He was born in Bombay, India, on July 10, 1949. Gavaskar was a dominant force in Test cricket during his playing days due to his superb technique and ability to handle quick deliveries.
Gavaskar made his Test debut for India against the West Indies in 1971 and went on to enjoy a spectacular 16-year career. He appeared in 125 Tests, scoring 10,122 runs at an average of 51.12, including 34 centuries and 45 half-centuries. He held the record for the most Test hundreds at the time of his retirement in 1987.
Gavaskar’s contributions to Indian cricket extend beyond his achievements on the pitch. He served as a role model for aspiring cricketers in India and was instrumental in popularising the sport in the country. He became a cricket commentator after retiring from the game and has been a major voice in the commentary box for several years.
The final of the 2021-2023 ICC World Test Championship will be held at The Oval in London, England, from June 7 to 11, 2023. As the top two teams in the league stage of the 2021-2023 ICC World Test Championship, Australia and India qualified for the final.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and many matchups being postponed, the league standings were determined by win percentage. India led the ICC Men’s Test Team Rankings going into the final, with Australia in second place. Australia is making its first appearance in a world test final, while India, who lost to New Zealand in 2021, will be without several key players owing to injuries.
The most difficult challenge for India would be to swiftly acclimatize to English conditions after participating in the two-month-long IPL at home. Except for Cheteshwar Pujara, who spent the summers in England playing County cricket, the entire 16-man team and standby players were involved in the IPL. The good news for the team is that the majority of them are in good shape, and they will hope to continue their momentum in England.
The match will also mark the return of Ajinkya Rahane to the Test setup, who has been recalled after a 15-month absence. Rahane has captained Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy and was part of the IPL 2023 winning side since being sacked from the team.
Ajinkya Rahane, according to Gavaskar, has a lot of experience playing in England and getting runs there. He added that he thought Rahane would be important at number 5 and that Rahane had much to show. Gavaskar believed Rahane still had plenty of cricket left in him and regarded this as a fantastic opportunity for him. He expressed hope that Rahane will embrace this opportunity with all of his skills and gain a spot back in the Indian team.