|Hello and welcome to Sportstar’s LIVE coverage of Day 3 of the World Test Championship Final between India and New Zealand. This is Lalith Kalidas bringing you all the updates as action unfurls in Southampton.|
Day 2 Review
After a sluggish twist of weather snatched away an auspicious start for the marquee clash, the World Test Championship final got off to a typical Test match in dicey English conditions. New Zealand skipper had no hesitations about his decision on electing to bowl first. The squad did not raise eyeballs either with the Kiwis lining up all four of its frontline seamers – Boult, Wagner, Southee and Jamieson – besides the sly Colin de Grandhomme for company.
The Indian openers, not known for having a fine decade in UK, eventually put early doubters to rest with a solid approach. Rohit Sharma began his first English Test tour as opener in traditional flair – with cuts, flicks and drives breaking the early jitters. His much younger compatriot – Shubman Gill – took time to get off the blocks while displaying tremendous nerve to stay out of his crease to take on the Boults and Southees early on.
The Kiwi bowlers allowed the openers to settle before a lapse from Rohit cast his downfall and India let the ball loose when runs began to flow in tough conditions. New Zealand tightened its length and swung the ball sharply throughout, forcing the middle-order into the backfoot. While Pujara bid an eternity at the crease, Williamson’s men ensured to unsettle him with the odd bouncer and varying seam movement. The India no.3 found himself back in the hut soon after – 8 off 54 deliveries – with a searing Boult trapped him in front with the in-swinger.
India soon was in a spot of bother with the top-order back in the hunt as the scoreboard just approached 100. In came, the Indian skipper Virat Kohli and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane. The duo toiled hard – beaten multiple times by the Kiwi seamers but continued to apply a cautious eye to leave the probing deliveries. While Kohli displayed immaculate control – just a single boundary in his 44 off 124 balls – Rahane looked fidgety before cashing on the off-side on every loose ball presented.
However, with bad light stoppages every now and then, the senior batsmen had to change guard multiple times before the umpires eventually decided to call off the third session of play. With conditions not forecast to be much better than what we have seen so far, India will eye to break the game down into phases and rake in as much as possible in its kitty today. Either team will know the weather’s running the show, but the side that manages to push in front today, could well boss the little gametime we have for the remaining days.
Sportstar correspondents Shayan Acharya, Wriddhaayan Bhattacharyya and Ayan Acharya discuss their star players and big match-ups in the #WTCFinal.
Day 3, Southampton – chances of rain – According to UK Met department
|Chances of rain||20%||10%||<5%||<5%|
WHAT THEY SAID
Vikram Rathour, India batting coach: “They (Kohli and Rahane) batted well. But I would give a lot of credit to Rohit and Gill because they started pretty well in challenging conditions – fresh wicket, overcast conditions. Credit to all of them, they showed a lot of restraint and discipline, and I think we have ended the day on a fine note. We are looking to play out each session, and if we can do that well, anything more than 250-plus would be a reasonable score in these conditions.”
Kyle Jamieson, New Zealand bowler: “I think we are pretty content with the players we have selected for this game. We have only seen 60 overs (64.4 overs) of play, and I don’t think there was any error made there. All the guys who bowled today offered a huge amount and were able to let the ball do the talking. It was a very good day of Test cricket. It’s probably pretty even at the moment. The disruptions didn’t help the momentum we were trying to get and that we had at periods of time.”
India Playing XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah
New Zealand Playing XI: 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
|The World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand will be shown on Star Sports and streamed live on Hotstar.|