Written By: Aditya Maheshwari
Last Updated: June 05, 2023, 16:18 IST
London, United Kingdom (UK)
The World Test Championship 2023 Final is all set to decide the best team in red-ball cricket over the past couple of years. India, who were the runners-up in the inaugural edition, have another shot at the title as they reached the final for the second straight time. The Asian giants will face a litmus Test against Australia in the tricky English conditions at the Oval, London.
The Indian cricket team has been a force to reckon with in red-ball cricket in recent times and become one of the best travelling sides in world cricket. However, the ongoing WTC cycle has been a topsy-turvy ride for India as they used several captains during the time period thus far. Virat Kohli was the captain when the second edition of WTC began but relinquished the captaincy after the South Africa Test series last year. Rohit Sharma was named the captain but the injuries forced him out of a few matches as KL Rahul and Jasprit Bumrah took the charge in his absence. While Ajinkya Rahane also led the side when Kohli took a break during the first Test against New Zealand back in 2021.
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India’s Road to WTC Final
India tour of England 2021
Virat Kohli led the Indian team ‘his’ way on the England tour and put the hosts on their knees with some aggressive brand of cricket. Kohli and Co. managed to take a 2-1 lead in the series after four Tests while the fifth was postponed to 2022 after the Indian camp was hit with COVID-19. However, England bounced back in with a revamped squad and outclassed India in the postponed Test match at Edgbaston as the series ended 2-2.
India vs New Zealand 2021
It was crucial for India as they entered the series after a humiliating exit from the 2021 T20 WC. Kohli missed the first Test as his then-deputy Ajinkya Rahane took over the charge. The series opened ended in a draw while Kohli returned and guided the hosts to a dominant 372-run win in the second Test to clinch the series 1-0.
India tour of South Africa 2021-22
It started on the best possible note for India as they took the lead over South Africa with a clinical win in the first Test but a back injury forced Kohli out of the second Test and KL Rahul led the side but the Proteas managed to bounce back with a victory. The momentum shifted in Temba Bavuma’s side as they beat India in the final Test despite the return of Virat Kohli to clinch the series 2-1. It was a big letdown for India in the WTC cycle.
India vs Sri Lanka 2023
It was the first assignment as Test captain for Rohit Sharma and he passed it with flying colours as India whitewashed Sri Lanka in two-match series. The hosts dropped Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane in the bid to give chances to youngsters in the middle-order and Shreyas Iyer grabbed the opportunity with both hands to shine.
India tour of Bangladesh 2022
Rohit missed the two-match Test series due to fitness concerns as Rahul captained the side to clinch the series two-match series 2-0. Shubman Gill rose to fame and slammed his maiden Test century while Cheteshwar Pujara also ended his drought and scored a ton.
India vs Australia 2023
The series was extremely crucial for Rohit Sharma and Co to seal a place in the final of WTC. India started the series with back-to-back victories in dominant fashions, things looked good for the hosts but then the Aussies bounced back hard and claimed a win in Indore. While centuries from Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli helped India draw the Test. India won the series 2-1 which helped both them and Australia reach the final of WTC 2023.
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