Team India made a comeback on the fifth day of the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton. The Kiwis started their day with 101/2 but Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma sent them all home for 249 runs. Shami and Ishant picked four and three wickets respectively. R Ashwin got two while the last wicket was snatched by Ravindra Jadeja. At stumps, India was 64/2 after losing Rohit Sharma just a few overs before the end of day’s play.
India’s wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik, who is currently enjoying the role of a commentator in Southampton, lauded skipper Virat Kohli for the timely change in his team’s bowling strategy which resulted in India getting back in the game. Indian bowlers quickly sent three Kiwi batsmen back to the pavilion before the lunch break on day five.
Karthik said the bowling change from Virat was very inspirational, adding that the captain has full trust on Shami who again proved his worth by claiming wickets of Ross Taylor and BJ Watling, who is playing his last Test match, in quick succession.
Virat also received praise from England legend and commentator Nasser Hussain, who went on to say that the 32-year-old will be known as the greatest Test captain after his retirement.
Virat is the most successful Test captain of India, winning 36 matches for the country so far. He became the first and only Indian skipper to win a red-ball series against Australia in Australia. Though India also won the last Test series in Australia under captaincy of Ajinkaya Rahane, but he was substituting in absence of Virat who was on paternity leave during the 2020-21 Border Gavaskar Trophy.
Meanwhile, the WTC final has stretched into the reserve day after rains completely washed out two days of the game. The chances of either side winning the game remain bleak, however, both teams will be declared joint winners if the match ends up in a draw.