WTC Final: Simon Doull reveals the reason why Indian pacers struggled on Day 3

Simon Doull shares that he expected much more seam movement from the Southampton pitch than what it offered during New Zealand's first innings.

Simon Doull
Simon Doull

Simon Doull has revealed why India’s pacers struggled against New Zealand on Day 3 of the World Test Championship final. In the rain-affected encounter, the pace trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, and Mohammed Shami struggled to extract much swing from the advantageous Ageas Bowl conditions, unlike their Kiwi counterparts, who made good use of the seaming conditions to wipe out India for a modest score of 217.

Simon Doull stated that Indian bowlers aren’t ‘genuine swing’ bowlers, and rely more on seam-movement off the field, and hence can’t meet their rivals in this regard. The remark was made in response to the Indian pacers’ dismal performance in New Zealand’s first-inning total of 101 for 2.

In a discussion with Cricbuzz, Doull also mentioned that he hoped for more seam movement from Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, but that they were simply not consistent enough.

They are not genuine swing bowlers. We know Jasprit Bumrah can swing the ball, Ishant is more of a swing bowler nowadays, coming round-the-wicket he has that angled wrist with which he takes the ball away from the left-handers, into the right-handers. Mohammed Shami has never really been a genuine swing bowler and he’s a seam bowler … That’s why they weren’t swinging the ball much.

I did, however, expected the ball to seam a lot more. Shami and Bumrah at times found it but they probably weren’t just consistent enough much like New Zealand weren’t yesterday morning,” said Simon Doull.

R Ashwin and Ishant Sharma were the wicket-takers for India, restricting the Kiwis on 101/2.  At the cost of two wickets – Tom Latham and Devon Conway – New Zealand narrowed their first-innings deficit to 116 runs. Kane Williamson is at the crease with experienced batsman Ross Taylor and will be looking to build a big partnership.

India had enough time to prepare for the WTC Final: Simon Doull

Indian team wearing black armbands in the WTC final, Simon Doull
Indian team in the WTC final

Unlike New Zealand, who played two Tests against England before the WTC final, India has had no match preparation ahead of the big game. The last Test match for the Virat Kohli-led team was a 2-1 series triumph against England at home in March.

However, Simon Doull stated that the argument of a lack of match preparation was most likely ‘overthinking.’ He mentioned New Zealand’s resounding series win over England as an example, and said he expected the same from India.

New Zealand went into the first Test at Lord’s against England, they had the very same preparation that India had coming into this Test – intra-squad matches, training, practices – and they looked pretty set and ready to go. Tim Southee bowled beautifully and Devon Conway came off ten days of the net session into a double hundred at Lord’s.

And I thought India would be exactly the same. I think at times you may overthink it and say, ‘Did they have enough preparation?’ I think they probably did. I am sure in the last 10-12 days they would have bowled enough deliveries to make sure they were raring to go,” continued Doull.

Doull, however, admitted that a lack of adequate match practice had its own repercussions. In practice, you cannot replicate the conditions of a proper game, and it is the true hard match practice that makes the players get accustomed to the conditions.

It’s hard, though, when you can’t simulate match practice. You try it in these intra-squad games but it just doesn’t work. And that’s the key – it’s the genuinely hard match practice that makes you better and gets you ready for those matchups,” added Doull.

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