Sunday, July 25, 2021

WTC final: India, New Zealand, and weather exercise thrift

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The opening act of the greatest Test match ever ended after an extended farce. The opening day of the World Test Championship final (WTC) between India and New Zealand was suspended due to rain.  All the anticipation, all the buildup ends up being all about the rain in Southampton on Day 1.

The rejuvenation project of Test cricket will close its first chapter this week with two deserved nations slogging it out in the finale at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton. The world’s top-ranked Test teams, No.1 New Zealand and No.2 India, are all set to give it their all in a bid to etch their names in history while clocking a befitting finish to a journey over the last decade.

Both Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson have known each other since the Under-19 World Cup 2008 where both captained their respective countries in the semi-final where Kohli won. After 13years, it would be really exciting to see which skipper wins this ultimate test challenge.

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India vs New Zealand Day 2:

With no rain on Day 2, the most awaited match kicked off, Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson won the most crucial toss and elected to bowl first as the conditions in the first half are more suitable for the seamers.

Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill opened the innings for the first time in England and gave a solid start to the men in blue. Struggling with the conditions they both managed to built-up a partnership of 62 runs. Just before the end of the 1st session, unfortunately, both the openers got out to the kiwi pacers.

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Skipper Kohli came to the rescue with Cheteshwar Pujara, both went off with a steady start post-lunch and soon Pujara too lost his wicket to Trent Boult. Now it was Virat with his deputy Ajinkya Rahane on the field. Both of them have had great partnerships in test cricket, this is just another chance to make this match into a memorable one.

After losing 3 wickets in the first half of the day, Captain Kohli is standing strong at 40 not out, he faced more than 100 balls and these tough conditions are literally testing his temperament. Rahane and Kohli have slowly built up a partnership of 58 runs. After the end of 2nd session, bad light forced early stumps on Day 2. India has batted really well after losing the toss in bowler-friendly conditions, led by captain Virat Kohli who’s looked so assured even with the ball swinging around all day.

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With the quality of cricket, we saw today, especially after the early nerves were settled, it looks like the only thing standing in the way of a memorable Test is the weather. Hope it doesn’t spoil the fun tomorrow.

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V Nichita
Media student, Aspirant Sports Journalist

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