WTC final, India vs New Zealand: Rain washes out first day’s play

The first day's play of the WTC final at Southampton has been abandoned due to rain and wet outfield.
The first day's play of the WTC final at Southampton has been abandoned due to rain and wet outfield.

The first day’s play of the India-New Zealand World Test Championship (WTC) final has been abandoned without a ball bowled at the Rose Bowl, Southampton, due to rains and wet outfield. The play for the second day is expected to start at 10.30 am local time (3 pm IST).

It was a frustrating day as fans across the world awaited some action on the first day of the mega clash that has been billed as the ultimate Test. The decision was made by the umpiring team at 2.45 pm local time.

An Indian fan awaits the start of the play.
An Indian fan awaits the start of the play.

The forecast for the second day looks slightly better. If play starts on Saturday, we may still witness five full days of Test cricket due to the availability of the sixth day. Provided the weather holds up, there will be an extra half-an-hour of play on the first 4 playing days. However, to the dismay of every cricket fan, there are showers predicted in Southampton throughout the weekend.

On the eve of the WTC final, India had announced their playing XI, whereas New Zealand did not. Since the toss has not taken place yet, India can still make changes to their XI according to the conditions. If there’s no toss on the second day, then the follow-on margin will come down to 150 from 200.

India squad for WTC final: Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant (wk), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shmai, Hanuma Vihari

New Zealand squad for WTC final: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Latham (vc), Devon Conway, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Will Young, BJ Watling (wk), Tom Blundell (wk), Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Ajaz Patel, Colin de Grandhomme

Virat Kohli set to becomes India’s most capped Test captain

After the toss does eventually take place, Virat Kohli is set to overtake MS Dhoni for most caps as India’s Test captain. The duo are currently tied at 60 Tests each. In 2019, Kohli went past Dhoni’s record of 27 Test wins to become India’s most successful captain in this format. With 36 wins, he is currently tied with West Indies legend Clive Lloyd for fourth spot for the most wins in Test cricket.

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Edited by Parimal
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