WTC final, India vs New Zealand: Reserve Day call to be made on Day 5 if required

New Zealand players walk around the boundary on Day One of the WTC final at Southampton.
New Zealand players walk around the boundary on Day One of the WTC final at Southampton.

Incessant rain and wet outfield washed off the first day’s play of the India-New Zealand World Test Championship (WTC) final at Southampton on Friday. All eyes are now on the Reserve Day, which the ICC has introduced for the mega clash.

Losing a day’s play in the WTC final does not automatically bring the Reserve Day into the Test. Sources aware of the developments have confirmed that it will only be used if required and if match officials decide to play on the Reserve Day. The decision will be taken on the fifth day of the Test.

“The Reserve Day (in WTC final) will come into play when the match officials say, likely on Day Five when they know it is needed,” a source told ANI.

According to weather reports, there is rain forecast on all five playing days of the WTC final.

The summit clash has not even seen the toss yet and India, despite declaring their playing XI, can make changes to their line-up according to the conditions. Meanwhile, New Zealand haven’t declared their playing line-up for the WTC final just yet.

India and New Zealand to be crowned joint-winners in case of draw or tie in WTC final

The ICC had earlier confirmed that a draw or tie would see both India and New Zealand crowned as joint winners of the inaugural WTC. Also, the Reserve Day was introduced to make up for any lost time during the regular days between June 18 and 22. Therefore, June 23 was set aside as the Reserve Day. The decisions were made before the commencement of the WTC.

“The Reserve Day has been scheduled to ensure five full days of play, and it will only be used if lost playing time cannot be recovered through the normal provisions of making up lost time each day. There will be no additional day’s play if a positive result is not achieved after five full days of play, and the match will be declared a draw in such a scenario,” read the ICC release on the playing conditions.

In July 2019, there was a controversy when pre-decided rules saw England being crowned the ODI World Cup winner despite tying the final against New Zealand at Lord’s. The match saw a Super Over used a tie-breaker, which too ended in a tie, and England were awarded the World Cup for hitting more boundaries in the game.

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Edited by Parimal
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