Day 1 of the WTC final at The Ageas Bowl was washed out due to rain. While Siraj is not part of India’s playing XI for the WTC final, Southee will be a key player for New Zealand, being the most experienced of all the pacers in the squad.
On Saturday, the official Twitter account of the Black Caps shared pictures of Siraj and Southee exchanging pleasantries out in the middle ahead of the second day’s play in the WTC final.
Even as the two fast bowlers are seen acknowledging each other, the heavy cloud cover is visible in the background. The Black Caps shared the images with the caption:
“Morning catch-ups @BCCI #WTC21”
The toss for the WTC final took place on Day 2, with New Zealand captain Kane Williamson calling correctly and inviting India to bat in seamer-friendly conditions. Speaking after winning the toss in the all-important WTC final, Williamson stated that New Zealand will look to make the most of the conditions. He said:
“We'll bowl first. Conditions, with the weather around, hopefully we can make the most of it. Saying that, wicket will be consistent throughout the game going by the cool weather.”
Indian captain Virat Kohli also admitted that they would have bowled first, but will now look to put runs on the board. He stated:
“We would've probably bowled first as well. But runs on the board has been our strength. In a big final, runs on the board, however many, are an advantage.”
No change in India’s team combination for WTC final
While there was conjecture over whether India would look to change their playing XI for the WTC final owing to the overcast conditions, Kohli decided to stick with the same combination announced earlier. India will thus go in with two spinners and three pacers.
The Kiwis, on the other hand, are going in with four seamers, and have picked all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme ahead of left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel.
Playing XIs for WTC final
India: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (w), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
New Zealand: Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (w), Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult