WTC final win will encourage youngsters to take up cricket: Stead


New Zealand head coach Gary Stead has said the victory over India in the World Test Championship final at Southampton will promote the sport in the country and bring more youngsters to the cricket grounds.

“We are excited (about) what this could do for cricket in New Zealand as well. That’s a really good thing that we have to make sure that we have young cricketers — boys and girls — in New Zealand that want to partake in cricket,” Stead told Niche Sports YouTube channel.

On the match, in which New Zealand won by eight wickets with tall pace bowler Kyle Jamieson taking a five-for in the first innings and then removing Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli on the reserve day, Stead said his team wanted to bat longer in the first innings and score more runs to counter Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin in the second innings.

“We were actually hoping to bat a little bit longer than we did and hopefully score some more runs. We thought first-innings runs were going to be very important on a pitch that was wearing and we knew (Ravichandran) Ashwin and (Ravindra) Jadeja were going to become more and more apparent in the game as it went on,” added Stead.

New Zealand posted 249 runs in the first innings and led India — who were bowled out for 217 — by 32 runs. Opener Davon Conway scored a patient 153-ball 54, while skipper Kane Williamson scored 49 off 177 deliveries.

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