4-0 sweep will give India confidence to beat Australia in WTC final in London: Ravi Shastri
India vs Australia: Former head coach Ravi Shastri said Australia will be a tougher side to beat in English conditions but a 4-0 sweep of the tourists in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy will give India the edge if the two teams meet in the WTC final in June in London.
India hammered Australia in the first two Tests in Nagpur and Delhi (PTI Photo)
By India Today Sports Desk: India may have missed the opportunity to win the World Test Championship final in its inaugural edition in Birmingham, but former head coach Ravi Shastri believes the Asian giants will have a good chance of getting their hands on the coveted trophy even if they have to face World No. 1 Australia at the Oval in London.
India were outclassed by New Zealand in the first-ever World Test Championship final in 2021 as a Virat Kohli-led side failed to ace the swing test in Birmingham against the high-quality BlackCaps pacers. India managed to go past the 200-run mark only once in the final as the likes of Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee and Trent Boult ran through the Indian batting unit in helpful conditions.
India are on a dominant run in the ongoing cycle of the World Test Championship, especially at home. After having taken an 2-0 unbeatable lead against World No. 1 Australia at home, India need one more win to book their place in the WTC final, which will be played in June in London. India are Australia, despite their horror show so far in Inda, are favourites to meet each other in the big final.
Australia have been completely outplayed by India in the much-anticipated Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which has so far been one-way traffic. However, Shastri expects Australian pacers to be more effective in English conditions. At the same time, the former head coach, who was in charge of the team in the inaugural final, said a 4-0 whitewash of Australia in the ongoing series will give India the psychological edge, going into the big final.
“A 4-0 win here psychologically does send a strong signal to the opposition,” Shastri told the ICC.
“There will be an impact, but conditions are different as Australia will have their fast bowlers back as a lot of them are injured, But that psychological dent will make India believe that, even in those conditions, they’re good enough to upstage Australia.”
Furthermore, Shastri said it was unreal to see Australia batters not willing to spend time in the middle in the first two Tests and not trust their defence against the Indian spinners in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Unlike 2017 where a Steve Smith-led side gave India one of their stiffest challenges at home, the tourists have crumbled against spin, losing the first two Tests within 6 days.
R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have shared 31 of the 40 wickets that have fallen so far as Australia have looked clueless against high-quality spin.
“I think application (has let them down) more than anything else. The lack of belief in their own defence,” Shastri said.
“The lack of application and the lack of discipline was unreal and Australia paid for it big time.”
The 3rd Test between India and Australia will get underway on March 1 in Indore.