After two years of struggle, India and New Zealand managed to book their berth in the World Test Championship (WTC) final. The excitement of the fans for the first Test Championship final had no bounds. Unfortunately, after so much hype, the marquee clash is heading towards a tame draw, courtesy of some poor weather in England.
Day 1 of the Test was completely washed out due to rain while around 30 overs were lost on Day 2. Day 3 also saw bad light forcing play to be called off before the scheduled close while the chances of getting any play on Day 4 also looks grim. Even though there is a reserve day, given the rain around and the time lost, getting a result even after utilizing the reserve day can’t be guaranteed. Former Indian and New Zealand cricketers expressed their disappointment after rain threatened to washout Day 4 as well.
VVS Laxman believes that ICC did not get the rules right for the marquee clash, adding that both teams wanted a result out of the match. VVS said the final should have gone until a maximum of 450 overs were bowled in the match.
“It’s very sad for the fans. I think ICC did not get the rules right. All said and done, you want a champion,” Laxman said on Star Sports.
“With so much time available, I’m sure they could have at least allowed 90 overs in 5 days to complete 450 overs. That’s something I would have expected from ICC. We were excited that there is a reserve day but I’m not sure whether the game can finish (even with the reserve day) if the rain continues,” he added.
Former Kiwi pacer Shane Bond also expressed his consent with VVS Laxman and said the match should have continued until all 450 overs had been bowled in the match. Bond added with persistent rains, an Indian win looks unlikely now.
“Both teams wanna play to win. The other thing is that the pitch is offering so much to the bowlers that even if you have three-four days of play, we could find a result. If the weather delays go on for long, sometimes it means only one team can win if New Zealand bat well after the rain finishes, it puts them in the best position but I’m with VVS, however long it takes, I’d like to see 450 overs and one team come out on top,” Bond said.
Former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar feels that if the rain stays away, a total of 150-160 can also be very difficult to chase for New Zealand.
“I agree with the suggestions. Even if India manage to give a target of 160, it’s going to be difficult on this wicket. Yesterday we saw how the ball just took off at times, Conway took some nasty hits on the gloves even Williamson. So, all these things will come into the picture plus the enormity of the occasion and the desire to get your hands on the trophy I think it’s going to be an emotional last two days,” he added.
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