The rain has played spoilsport in the ongoing ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final between Virat Kohli-led India and Kane Williamson-led New Zealand. With regular interruptions from the rain god, both teams were able to put some cricket on display only on two of the four days. And the viewers were in for a treat as the power-pack performances of both teams kept you on the edge. The toss was won by Williamson and he chose to bowl first at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
The math did work for Kiwis as India was restricted to a total of 217. The pressure directly shifted to the bowlers as they had to pick some early wickets in order to be in the game. Skipper Kohli very well knew the importance of getting quick wickets in the first session and was spotted sledging New Zealand opener, Tom Latham.
The 32-year-old, while giving the ball back to Jasprit Bumrah, was heard backing the bowler to pierce the defence of Latham. Kohli told Bumrah that Latham has got no idea and he can easily be all over him. Kohli added that Latham is not getting it on the bat. The Indian skipper’s words got caught in the stump microphone.
Sadly, the tactics didn’t work as Latham went on to build a 70 runs partnership for the first wicket with his opening partner Devon Conway. Later it was off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who dismissed Latham for 30. On the other hand, Conway went on to score his half-century. New Zealand lost his wicket after Conway scored 54 runs and at stumps on Day 3, New Zealand were 101/2. They were trailing 116 runs behind India’s first-innings total.
Day 4 was a good opportunity for India to bounce back but the rain washed it away. India’s bowling attack did come into action on Day 05 as they restricted the powerful batting line-up of New Zealand. The Kiwis got bundled out for 249 and India came out to play their second innings. At stumps on Day 5, India’s second innings score was 64/2, with a 32 run lead.