Two years ago, the ICC announced the World Test Championship to rejuvenate the popularity of Test cricket. Thereby, after a two-year-long tournament, India and New Zealand would face each other in the championship final on 18th June. It would be a one-off Test between the two teams to decide the winner of the title.
The Indian team qualified for the final with 12 wins in 17 Test matches in the league phase. The 2 tough challenges India faced during it are as follow:
Home series against South Africa (SA)
The Indian team returned home for the series against South Africa after registering a comprehensive series win in the Caribbean. In the home series, India witnessed a new opening combination. Rohit Sharma was the opening batsman for the first time in Test cricket.
That series displayed the strength of the Indian batting unit. Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Mayank Agarwal smashed double centuries against a quality SA bowling unit.
Moreover, Ravichandran Ashwin had a seven-wicket haul in the first Test against South Africa. Thereby, India’s dominating performance on the field ensured a clear win for the team. Rohit Sharma was adjudged the player of the series.
Away series against Australia
After a post-pandemic hiatus and a loss against New Zealand, the Indian team went for the Australian tour. It was important for India to win that tour so that they can secure a spot in the championship final.
The first challenge for the young Indian team was the Pink ball Test against Australia. But Australian bowlers bundled out the Indian team for just 36 runs in the second innings. It was the lowest total recorded by the Indian team in the history of Test cricket.
Nevertheless, the Indian side bounced back and registered a comfortable eight wickets win in Melbourne. During the Sydney Test, Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari showcased tremendous skill to help India secure a draw.
But the final Test match at the Gabba marked the rise of the young Indian side. Rishabh Pant and Shubman Gill helped Indians chase the targeted run and win the series. The Gabba win helped India create history. It returned the team back on track to get qualified for the WTC final.