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WTC final: “This Indian team has a great balance, they can trouble any batting unit”- Sourav Ganguly

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Sourav Ganguly isn’t too worried if the World Test Championship (WTC) final will be played on a grassy surface as he is confident of Team India’s seam bowling attack. Ganguly further stated that the Men in Blue have a great balance to their side, and it will be an enjoyable fight irrespective of the conditions.

Team India recently announced their playing XI for the WTC final, with Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah & Ishant Sharma forming the three-man seam attack. The team management has also gone in with two spinners in the form of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin.

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The first look at the Southampton surface suggests that a good amount of grass covering could be on offer for the WTC final, but Sourav Ganguly isn’t too concerned about the conditions.

Speaking to Anandabazar Patrika, the former India skipper said:

“I was watching on TV, there could be grass on the pitch. But just like them (New Zealand) we too have a terrific pace attack. Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma- its a brilliant pace attack. They can trouble any batting unit. Then we have two brilliant spinners. This Indian team has a great balance. It will be an enjoyable fight.”

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Mohammed Siraj and Hanuma Vihari, who were seen as contenders to feature in the playing XI, had to miss out as the Indian team management went in with the experienced pair of Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja.

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“Yes, you can definitely bat after winning the toss”- Sourav Ganguly

With a lot of rain and overcast conditions predicted for the WTC final, the conditions might suit the bowlers more at Southampton. However, Sourav Ganguly drew comparisons from the time when India chose to bat first in Headingley against England in 2002 in similar conditions and went on to pile 600+ runs on the board in the first innings.

India won that Test match by an innings, even though some experts were baffled when Ganguly chose to bat first. The former skipper added that irrespective of batting first or second, Virat Kohli and co. will have to put up big runs on the board to put the Kiwis under pressure.

“Yes, you can definitely bat after winning the toss. But we need to see the overhead conditions as well. Have heard that it’s going to be cloudy with some rain around. However, there is no doubt that we will have to score big runs. Everyone will have to contribute with the bat, then only it will be possible to put the opposition under pressure with a big score on the board,” Ganguly said.

Despite this being built as a big final, Virat Kohli played down the importance of the WTC final and stated that Team India are not looking at it as the ‘final frontier’.


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