Former India opener and one of the greatest Test batsmen of all-time Sunil Gavaskar has implored the ICC to come up with a formula or methodology to pick the winner for the final of the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) should the match end in a draw. With two full days abandoned due to rain and bad weather in Southampton there is a strong likelihood of the mega final heading towards a stalemate unless something dramatic unfolds on Day 5 and the reserve day.
India were bowled out for 217 and in reply New Zealand had moved to 101 for 2 in their first innings by close of play on Day 3. With rain being spoilsport again the whole of Day 4 was called off which meant that only two days were left to achieve an outright result in the final.
Gavaskar stated that the ICC should come up with a way to choose a winner if the match ends in a draw.
“There must be a formula to pick a winner in case of a drawn World Test Championship final. ICC’s cricket committee should think and then take a decision," quoted Gavaskar.
However, the chances of such a decision being taken are next to negligible as the ICC, while announcing the playing conditions of the WTC final, had stated that the trophy will be shared in case the match ends in a draw or a tie.
With only 141.1 overs possible in the final thus far and only two days remaining (weather permitting) we would be lucky if we even get close to 160 more overs and forcing a result in that time would be a difficult proposition according to Gavaskar.
“It seems that the World Test Championship final will end up as a draw and the trophy will be shared. This will be the first time that the trophy will be shared in a final. To complete three innings in two days would be really difficult. Yes, if both teams bat really badly, the three innings could be completed,” stated Gavaskar.
The former great cited the examples of other sports like football and tennis where there is a tie-breaker to determine a result and pick a winner.
“In football, they have a penalty shoot out or they have some other method to decide a winner. In tennis, there are five sets and there is a tie-breaker," he said.