IND vs NZ | Ravi Shastri says WTC is ‘big daddy of all World Cups’: It’s the toughest and biggest format

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Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane

Underlining the importance of Test cricket, India head coach Ravi Shastri on Saturday said that the World Test Championship (WTC) is the “big daddy of all World Cups”. Shastri may have played the 1983 World Cup and commentated on multiple marquee tournaments, but he rates the WTC notches above anything else.

“It’s the “big daddy of all World Cups”. I’ve played the 1983 World Cup, commentated on a few of them but this one is the biggest of them all. It’s the toughest format, biggest format and the job satisfaction is maximum,” he said ahead of the World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and New Zealand in Southampton.

Shastri also said that the Indian team was never interested in changing their playing XI after rain played spoilsport on the opening day. The Day 1 washout, however, didn’t tempt Shastri and the team management to break the Ashwin-Jadeja spin-combination. 

“Unless you would have had another washout today and the game had been reduced to a 2-3 day game, but otherwise with the kind of attack we have, we take the pitch out of the equation. On a day like this, it helps the fast bowlers get help, but when the sun comes out the spinners would come into play,” said Shastri.

“Jadeja and Ashwin add that variety and they bowl well in tandem. They have close to 600-700 wickets and complement each other really well. Both teams will feel that way.”

India, meanwhile, have been put to bat first in the titular clash against New Zealand at the Hampshire Bowl. As many as 98 overs are scheduled to be bowled on Saturday. The Test eventually will run into the reserve day on June 23rd.

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India: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah

New Zealand: Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (captain), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (wicketkeeper), Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult.

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