WTC Final: New Zealand outplay India
New Zealand wins the undisputed crown of the best in test cricket !! On the reserved day (being the 6th day of the match) under brilliant weather conditions, the perennial low profile Black Caps produced a clinical performance to thoroughly outplay the most celebrated team of the world cricket, India by 8 wickets.
Test cricket is the pinnacle of the game of cricket and after ages of formulating on a World cup for test cricket, ICC in 2019 started a world test Championships with involves a 2-year cycle and the top two teams reached the finals on basis of winning the highest percentage of points. WTC Final: New Zealand outplay India, wins the biggest cricket crown on earth.
The match was play at Southampton and was affect by rain and bad light across the previous 5 days. Finally, the reserve day produced great sunshine and a full uninterrupted day of cricket. Needless to say, the sun shone more brightly on the New Zealand cricket team.
India started the day at 64/2 and was need to bat very well in the first session with minimum damage to get into safer waters and at least assure of a joint winners medal. However, a brilliant bowling spell by India’s (and now Kohli’s) nemesis Kyle Jamieson in the morning accounted for India two most celebrated batsmen in test cricket, Kohli and Pujara which totally rattled the Indians for the rest of the day.
Kohli (13) was caught behind off the edge as he hung his bat out uncertainly and Pujara (15) played a half-hearted defensive prod to be caught in slips with India 72/4. Jamieson would have had a 3rd immediately but Southee drop a sitter in the slips of Pant’s edge else the game would have been done and dust well before tea time.
Pant and Rahane hung around and just when it looked like Rahane (15) was nicely settling down his faint edge down the leg side off Boult was another big blow with India now 109/5.
Jadeja Pant and batted for a while trying to score quickly to extend the lead but persistent short balls. By a relentless Neil Wagner to Jadeja finally had their effect as Jadeja (16) edge a fuller ball to be caught by Watling to rock India at 142/6.
Pant (41) looked solid, taking calculated risks and appear to be taking India to safety nudging the lead ahead but play a horrendous shot to Boult to be brilliantly caught by Nicholls off a skier at point. Soon his dismissal brought the now regular India lower-order collapse as the final 4 wickets fell for just 14 runs for India. To be all out for 170 leaving the Kiwis with a 139 winning target.
Tight bowling by Indian bowlers made New Zealand fight for every run but it was surprising with 2 lefthanders at the crease, Ashwin was not called on to bowl in the first place with close catching fielders. Finally, when he came to bowl, the openers already had a start. Still, he managed to get both Latham (9) and Conway (19) out as New Zealand was slightly rattle at 42/2 from 33/0.
However, Williamson and Ross Taylor were calm and composed. Showed great intent batting with great care against some very accurate bowling. Both the legends showed their Indian counterparts how to bat in these challenging conditions on a 6th-day pitch by rotating strike and punishing any loose balls. India had an opening when Bumrah induced. An edge off Taylor but Pujara dropped a sitter and India chance to apply pressure had come and gone. With enough overs in hand, Williamson (52no) and Taylor (47no) had no trouble in reaching the target with 5 overs still to go. It was attritional test cricket at its best and both the kiwi batting stars negotiate all that was hurl at them by a potent Indian bowling attack.
New Zealand showed more commitment too despite injuries. With Williamson nursing an elbow injury and Watling playing in his final test, carrying on to keep wickets in spite of dislocating a finger. During the middle of India’s 2nd innings.
It was an impeccable and a relentless bowling performance by the New Zealand quicks. In both innings of a low scoring match and the much celebrated Indian batting stars had no answer.
The Indians need to look at their lower-order batting with great seriousness. As their tailenders have become famous for regular batting collapses at the end of the innings with the last 4 wickets falling invariably quickly. Opposition bowling attacks now recognise that once the first 6 Indian wickets are taken, the rest 4 will fall swiftly.
Kyle Jamieson for his 7 wickets in the match and a crucial 21 runs was the man of the match. As Kane Williamson proudly win the mace for the test cricket champions of the world.
New Zealand won by 8 wkts
IND 217/10 (92.1 Ovs) 1st Innings
NZ 249/10 (99.2 Ovs) 1st Innings
IND 170/10 (73 Ovs) 2nd Innings
NZ 140/2 (45.5 Ovs) 2nd Innings
Ross Taylor 47(100)