India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin rued the team's performance in English conditions but also described New Zealand as "well-deserved" winners of the World Test Championship (WTC) title.
In the rain-marred marquee clash in Southampton which went into the reserve day, India suffered an eight-wicket defeat after New Zealand chased down the 139-run target with quite a few overs to spare in the day.
Ashwin, who finished the WTC cycle as the top wicket-taker with 71 plucks, also admitted being "numb" after India's defeat. Just like many Indian fans, Ashwin felt the sixth day wouldn't come into the picture before rain played spoilsport on a couple of days.
In a vlog on his YouTube channel, Ashwin said that the loss was "disappointing" but the Indian unit gave its best shot in English conditions. While the Indian contingent had only intra-squad matches to prepare for the titular Test, New Zealand stepped in the contest after playing a two-Test series against England.
“I felt that the Southampton match would be important to players. It would have been a great moment to win the World Test Championship (WTC) final for those playing the Test format and ones who missed the World Cup last year. Certain things didn’t go our way. I thought the 6th day would be of no use, but it was useful, and we got a result.”
“They were well-deserved winners. They were in the game throughout, constantly swinging the ball. We gave our best shot.
"The rub of the green didn’t go our way. England is not an easy place to travel and take wickets or score runs instantly. We had a month’s break after the IPL and didn’t play any games. Not giving excuses, we gave out best sho,t but it didn’t happen, and it was disappointing."
India's defeat in the WTC Final may have extended the nation's wait for silverware, but Ashwin is hopeful of winning an ICC tournament soon.
“I was numb after the match ended, wondering what had happened. Even on the last day, I believed we were in the match. The lbw of Kane Williamson, ball tracker showed the ball was missing. It was unexpected. Match got over and it was upsetting.
"Obviously fans are disappointed and rightly so. A billion Indians were looking forward to some good news after the lockdown and such stuff. But it did not happen. Fingers crossed. Just hoping we can win some other ICC tournament."