After a wait of an additional day, the WTC final between India and New Zealand began on Saturday, with New Zealand winning the toss and opting to bowl. In overcast conditions, Indian openers — Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill batted exceptionally well against the Kiwi pace attack and added 62 runs for the opening wicket.
But the duo were dismissed quickly after that. Nevertheless, this remains India’s best start in England in years. Former England skipper Nasser Hussain said that he ‘can’t remember India have had openers that have played the short balls better than these two.’
“I was just about to tweet that the Indian openers are giving a masterclass on how to bat in England conditions but they both got out. They played beautifully," Hussain said during the post-lunch show on Star Sports.
“Can’t remember India have had openers that have played the short balls better than these two. So they can’t be bullied by the short-ball and technically very sound. With the England tour coming up after this, it was an important innings by Shubman Gill."
Hussain continued to laud the efforts of Gill. “Balance and calm. You think he has been batting in England all his life. Openers gave a masterclass, they have obviously spoken to Virat as he made those changes in his two previous tours. India obviously have had a chat about getting to the ball before it swings.” He concluded.
Meanwhile, bad light remained a persistent problem throughout the day. Three to four times the match was stopped that didn’t allow the players to play freely. The run-rate was also affected due to that factor too.
Most importantly, skipper Virat Kohli looked in his groove for a big one and made the most of the big stage.