NZ vs SL: ‘New Zealand mostly knock us out of ICC events, Dravid expresses on the “stressed” chase

NZ’s thrilling two-wicket victory dashed SL’s hopes for WTC finals, in turn led IND to the Ovals where they will face NZ directly.

NZ vs SL: 'New Zealand mostly knock us out of ICC events, Dravid expresses on the “stressed” chase
  • Sinchan Saha | March 14, 2023 | 6:01 am

Many Indian fans in Christchurch, New Zealand, were eagerly following the fourth and final Test between India and Australia in Ahmedabad, eagerly glued to their mobile devices and televisions as a draw appeared to be inevitable. Sri Lanka, whose chances of qualifying for the World Test Championship (WTC) 2023 finals were still alive, were locked in a rollicking match at Hagley Oval against Tim Southee and Co. Sri Lanka needed a win to stay alive in the WTC 2023 final race, but despite putting in their best effort, Dimuth Karunaratne and Co. were defeated by a match-winning effort by Kane Williamson. 

Image Source: NDTV Sports

The hero batsman reached the crease with a full-stretched dive, scoring an unbeaten 121 to lead New Zealand to a thrilling two-wicket victory. Sri Lanka’s hopes of reaching the WTC finals were also dashed as a result. India and Australia will now meet at the summit in June at the Oval.

When Rahul Dravid was questioned about why they were keeping a close eye on the events in New Zealand, the head coach of India stated that it was not part of their plans but that they were forced to do so.

“We try to produce results in all the Tests we play. We wanted to keep the WTC qualification in our hand and we were aware that we had to win three matches in the series to make the series between Sri Lanka and New Zealand inconsequential. The first day we saw the wicket in Ahmedabad, we instantly knew winning the toss would be crucial. Then the way Australia batted in the first two days, forced us to depend on the outcome between Sri Lanka and New Zealand,”

said Dravid during an interaction on Star Sports.

“We were eagerly watching, hoping Sri Lanka wouldn’t win. The World Test Championship is a two-year long event, all the teams play six Test series each, so it’s natural you’ll be dependent on others. Although you have to put in your best, in competitions such as this you are also dependent on others. The good thing is that New Zealand, who mostly knocked us out of ICC tournaments, gave us little support. We are thankful to them.”

He added.

Dravid also shared the mood in the locker room, where most people were worried about New Zealand’s brave approach and their desire for victory. Williamson was just two runs away from achieving his 100th run when New Zealand needed 37 runs in the final five overs.

Williamson kept scoring quickly despite being close to the milestone, and New Zealand, who were batting at 248/5 at the time, won the match in five overs. With zero balls remaining, New Zealand scored 37 runs and lost three batters.

“We were stressed to see New Zealand attack and aim for a victory, instead of thinking of a draw. We were discussing this among ourselves. But we had to make peace with that as New Zealand will definitely target a win rather than playing a draw. In fact we did watch the final 5-6 overs during Lunch on the screen and it got really exciting,”

said Dravid.