Former England captain Alastair Cook opines that New Zealand went into the WTC Final with an advantage over India of having already played, and won, a 2-Test series against hosts England. India, on the other hand, involved itself in a solitary intra-squad game, which Alastair Cook says was never going to be enough as compared to New Zealand’s preparation.
He reminds people of his pre-game prediction that Kane Williamson’s team will boss the game. As it turned out, Alastair Cook’s words came true as India were skittled for 217 and 170 and the Kiwis took the game, the title, and the mace by 8 wickets.
“I did say New Zealand were going to win that game purely down to the fact that they were match-hardened. Those two Test matches against England were such perfect preparation,” Alastair Cook said on the BBC’s Tuffer and Vaughan Podcast.
“Intra-squad games, as good as your intention might be, it hasn’t got the same intensity. First hour might be really competitive but everything goes less and less and less. India were hard done by that way,” he added.
India got a bit confident in picking that side three days before: Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook, England’s leading Test run-scorer, reckons Virat Kohli and co. got a ” little bit ahead of themselves” in not only announcing their side a day before the game, but also by persisting to play two spinners and 3 pacers – compared with New Zealand’s four-man pace attack – despite the first day being washed out.
Eventually, barring the two wickets late on Day 6 for R Ashwin, there was nothing much to suggest that spinners could have been significantly effective. Kyle Jamieson rolled over Indian batters in both innings.
“They (India) got a bit confident in picking that side three days out before (the game) and playing two spinners where they pretty much knew it was going to rain for a lot of that game. So a lot of seam bowling was bowled. Even though their spinners are world-class, they got a little bit ahead of themselves there,” the legendary opener further stated.