WTC Final: Two years of dedicated cricket cycle, undesirable quarantine periods, a pandemic, change in points calculating system, bad weather with crucial day washouts & finally a rare Reserve sixth day. After overcoming all huddles & hardships the inaugural World Test Championship has finally got its winner, the Champions New Zealand squad.
A batting order collapse of the Indian team handed New Zealand a target of 139 runs to be chase in 153 overs. It wasn’t an easy chase in a test where the average run rate has been only 2.39. But it doesn’t matter much as in the end, Kane Williamson & Ross Taylor countered India’s pace & spin attack to seal a glorious victory by registering an unbeaten 96 runs stand for the third wicket.
The major setback for India came with the dropped catch of Taylor by Pujara. It was a major setback for India as after that missed catch India didn’t get a single chance to bring the team back on winning terms. Jasprit continued his wicketless run in the test match which he finished with 0-57 & 0-35 across both innings. In the second innings, Mohammed Shami tried to give India a breakthrough with the new ball. But it was Ashwin who gave India some relief by sending the kiwis openers back to the pavilion after the tea break.
India removed kiwis openers to mount pressure on them but ended up conceding crucial 25 runs in five overs
Ashwin first struck to remove lethal Tom Latham who was stumped by Ashwin’s off-spin for the second time in the match. After four overs Conway fell prey to Ashwin’s straight delivery. India used the dismissal of openers as a point to build pressure on opponents with restricted bowling. But let the match slip from their hands after the end of the second session by conceding 25 runs in just five overs. Despite multiple misses from Taylor & Williamson India couldn’t take a domineering position in the WTC final.
The average batting stint by India had guided them close to defeat. The batting order collapsed right in the first session of the day followed by another collapse in the afternoon. In the morning session, Kyle Jamieson dominated with the ball by removing Kohli & Pujara within 11 balls with full & straighter deliveries. Trent Boult continued the commendable bowling attack by removing Ajinkya Rahane in the next over thereby removing India’s three most experienced batsmen in the morning session itself.
In the second session, Rishabh Pant & Ravindra Jadeja tried to steady India’s submerging innings by bringing up 33 runs stand for the fifth wicket. Rishabh Pant scored 41 runs off 88 balls in do-or-die innings. However, Rishabh Pant lost his wicket to Trent Boult, with Henry Nicholls taking a stunning running catch behind the wicket.
Williamson & Taylor guided the Black Caps to a historic WTC title win by chasing 139 runs within 53 overs
The fall of Rishabh’s wicket came after Jadeja fell pray to Neil Wagner’s bowling, the all-rounder who has switched his mode of attack from full & over the wicket before lunch to short & round the wicket after lunch. India lost its last three wickets by scoring just 14 runs as Tim Southee scalped four wickets while Boult took three wickets to wrap up India’s innings for just 170 runs.
Indian bowlers after removing openers couldn’t mount up pressure on New Zealand’s batsmen with Taylor & Williamson heading strong with the bat. New Zealand’s highest wicket-taker Ross Taylor hit the winning boundary for the kiwis with his signature flick shot & took the side over the finishing line. By keeping the Indian bowlers attack at bay, Williamson & Taylor took the Black Caps at the heights of success by clinching the inaugural ICC WTC Final in style.
Brief Scores: India 249 and 170 lost to New Zealand 249 & 140/2 (Williamson 52*, Taylor 47*; Ashwin 2-17) by 8 wickets
For Live Score, Ball to Ball Commentary, Ball to ball live scores, click here
Grab the latest updates & Live News on varied Cricket Series only at Cricketflicker