The World Test Championship final concluded on Wednesday with New Zealand ending their 21-year-old ICC trophy drought. Kane Williamson & Co. showed the world why they are being touted as one of the best teams and justified their number 1 rating in Test cricket. Though New Zealand also got the Test Championship mace along with a whopping USD 1.6 million, the satisfaction of having an ICC trophy would please them the most.
It was in 2000 when the then Kiwi captain Stephen Fleming won the ICC Knockout Trophy and since then the side was only at the losing end. While the Kiwis have finally overcome their poor luck in the knockout tournaments of ICC, another fact that again came to the fore is that Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper, is still without any ICC trophy, despite captaining the side for so long.
Even though the Indian players tried their best in the WTC final, Kohli's prolonged chase for an ICC trophy continued as New Zealand were too good to be beaten in the finale. However, it wouldn't be wrong to say that India, as a team, didn't play their best game. While some players stood on various occasions, some failed to step up and take the team out of the pressure pit.
In case you missed following the game ball by ball, here are our ratings for the Indian players based on their performance in the WTC final —
Shubman Gill (4/10)
With an age of 21 and an experience of just 7 Test matches (excluding the WTC final), things were bound to be difficult for the Indian opener. He did well in the first innings, scoring 28 off 64 but scored just 8 off 33 when India needed him the most. It is worth noting that the lad also grabbed a sensational catch of Ross Taylor at short cover.
Rohit Sharma (5/10)
With a solid defense and extreme comfort in the middle, Rohit Sharma seemed to be one of the most settled Indian batsmen in the game. He scored 34 and 30 but failed to convert any of his starts. He fell prey to a brilliant setup by the Kiwi bowlers. While in the first innings he lost his wicket to a delivery shaping away from him, he was dismissed on an in-swinger in the following innings.
Cheteshwar Pujara (3/10)
Hopes were really high from the backbone of Indian batting line-up Cheteshwar Pujara but he couldn't live up to the expectations. A mediocre performance from him in the game saw India not getting enough runs with the bat. His extremely defensive approach in the batting certainly gave New Zealand bowlers a chance to come out all guns blazing.
Virat Kohli (7/10)
When we talk about Kohli, we don't only talk about his game but also his intent which is always amazing to watch. Similarly, in the WTC final, Kohli was spot on as captain in the second innings. However, in the final innings, it was evident that the skipper was getting clueless in bowling changes with New Zealand inching closer towards the target.
Ajinkya Rahane (6/10)
Lack of game awareness was the reason for Rahane's dismissal in the first innings, while his forgettable shot or say bad luck saw him getting dismissed in the second innings. In the first innings, the Mumbaikar was the highest scorer for India with his valuable 49, however, he failed to impress in the following innings. His wicket was crucial in the second innings as Rishabh Pant was firing from one end and he needed someone to hold the fort from the other end. He took a good catch to dismiss Neil Wagner.
Rishabh Pant (4/10)
"You live by the sword, you die by the sword" - Pant's story in his brief international career has been the same. While his amazing courage stole the show at Brisbane, it backfired at him at the Ageas Bowl in the Test finale. Sensing that he couldn't survive for long in front of the New Zealand bowlers, Pant relied on his attacking approach. But hats off to Kane Williamson's captaincy skills as the latter ensured that even the best shots of Pant went for a single instead of a boundary, such good was the field placement.
Ravindra Jadeja (3/10)
Though Jadeja was in the team, he failed to make his presence count. Mere 31 runs overall in the game and one wicket don't match the southpaw's stature, especially on this kind of wicket where his quick-fire knocks could have turned the tables in no time.
Ravichandran Ashwin (7.5/10)
Ashwin took four wickets in the game, despite the pitch not offering any help to the off-spinner. He conceded less than 2 runs per over throughout the game. And the fact that Ravindra Jadeja got just one wicket in the game and conceded at an economy of around 3, makes the off-spinner's stats look even more special.
Mohammad Shami (8/10)
Shami was terrific in the first innings with figures of 4/76. He, for sure, bowled his heart out in the game. It was the length of Shami that helped him fetch the swing and go neck and neck with the Kiwi bowlers. The story could have been something else, had New Zealand batters not been lucky playing in front of him in the second innings.
Ishant Sharma (6/10)
3/25 in the first innings at an economy of 1.92, Ishant was amazing against the Kiwis. However, he missed the edges of the bats of the Kiwi players in the second game and remained wicketless in the second innings. He too found it hard to keep it tight in terms of runs while defending a below-par target and conceded at an economy of over 3.
Jasprit Bumrah (2/10)
Bumrah is not used to bowling incorrect line or length, especially in Test cricket where he enjoys a sensational record of more than 4 wickets per game. However, it was just not Bumrah's game in the WTC final, wherein he sprayed a lot of balls either down the leg side to get hit for a boundary or too far from the batsman's body on the offside to get the same result. His bowling form definitely poured cold water on India's confidence.