NEW DELHI: Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan attributed India's loss in the World Test Championship final against New Zealand at Southampton recently to lack of match practice and want of application on part of the batsmen in the second innings.
India lost to the Black Caps by eight wickets in the summit clash. While New Zealand were well acclimatised to the conditions as they played a two-Test series against England, winning 1-0, India only played an intra-squad match.
"By the time we (India) started fielding for the second session, our bowlers were already tired. This happened because India didn't get enough match practice. When a team gets less match practice, they don't have the kind of match fitness required for a particular game. I feel this will improve eventually," Pathan said on Star Sports.
Pathan felt that while the first innings went "great", India's batting in the second was "disappointing".
India were bowled out for 170 in the second innings with no batsman reaching a half-century, which left New Zealand a victory target of 139 on the reserve sixth day.
"Now, if we talk from a proper cricketing point of view -- what went wrong for India? I think the first innings went great, but India's batting in the second innings was disappointing. The ball wasn't swinging as much in the second innings, and Indian batsmen could have batted more responsibly.
"I think India played with fewer batsmen -- which I highlighted before the ICC World Test Championship Final. I feel there was a need for one more batsman in the team. We do not have quality fast-bowling all-rounder -- which New Zealand possesses -- and it is hard to find one," added Pathan.
Pathan also felt that Indian bowlers should concentrate more on their length when bowling in such conditions.
"I think Indian bowlers should've opted for more bouncers -- the way Neil Wagner did. And improvement is required in length because we witnessed a lot of cut shots and back-foot punches from Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor."
Williamson and Taylor remained unbeaten on 52 and 47 respectively as they guided New Zealand to victory.