Former Indian player-turned-cricket analyst Sanjay Manjrekar said he believes that India is already in the final of the World Test Championship which is to be held at the Oval later this year.
Speaking after the end of day’s play on Thursday, he said, “I believe India are already in the final. But, you still have to actually, you know, officially get there. So that tension was there. Plus the series hanging the way it has, Australia making that brilliant comeback in Indore and plus a figure like Narendra Modi at the ground. That buzz was there. Every box was ticked before the start of this Test,” Manjrekar told Star Sports.
Elsewhere, Sri Lanka will look to strike an early blow against New Zealand in Christchurch this week and hope Australia can thwart India to keep the World Test Championship (WTC) race alive.
Stumps on Day 1️⃣ of the Fourth #INDvAUS Test!
2️⃣ wickets in the final session as Australia finish the opening day with 255/4 on board.
We will be back tomorrow as another action-packed day awaits💪
Scorecard ▶️ https://t.co/8DPghkx0DE#INDvAUS | @mastercardindia pic.twitter.com/hdRZrif7HC
— BCCI (@BCCI) March 9, 2023
Manjrekar added, “I don’t think Sri Lanka is capable of upsetting New Zealand.”
Sri Lanka currently sits third in the standings and has to win both Tests against New Zealand in their two-match series to stand any chance of qualification, but also must rely on favourable results in the ongoing Test between India and Australia.
Kusal Mendis and captain Dimuth Karunaratne scored half-centuries as Sri Lanka got to 305 for six before bad light brought stumps early on day one of the first test in Christchurch. It was a positive day at the batting crease for the south Asians.
On the other hand, Australia were 255 for four at stumps. Opener Khawaja and Cameron Green were batting on 104 and 49 respectively at the close of play.
After skipper Steve Smith opted to bat, Australia was off to a good start with the duo of Khawaja and Travis Head adding 61 runs for the first wicket.