“From Rain-Rain go away to Pain-Pain on the reserve day", This is what Indian fans got
From inconsistent bowling length to realising what’s lacking in batting technique, the game went from good to bad and worse. We are going to talk about the way how India started, to how New Zealand ended the Final on the reserve day of the game.
Yes, it was a great final and the clash of the two best test teams. The big rivalry of Kane vs Kohli, portrayed by fans as Ice vs Fire. India went onto lose another ICC event against New Zealand. Oh yeah, rain, New Zealand and ICC tournaments are the worst combo Indian cricket fans could be thinking of recently. These are in different formats, but same story.
The phrase above tells us the whole story. When we were supposed to bat for another 20-25 overs to get a draw, as the win was not in our hands, we let go of it with wickets going down in quick succession.
Day1, 18th June, the WTC (World Test Championship) Final was set to start but eventually rain stopped play and we got to see no on-field action. However, we were back on the second day with high intensity and hype all around the cricketing world and its fans.
Day2, India off to a solid start after Kohli lost the toss. Shubman’s first outing and Rohit played the test as an opener in England after a long time when he did so was in 2014. Yes, they dominated with a great balance at the start. The main pace attack was thumped by Gill and Rohit and we could see the front foot defence from both our openers where it’s challenging to go on for it as the pitch has something to deliver in terms of swing. But eventually, the danger from the 6 foot 8 inches tall K.Jamieson transpired giving New Zealand the breakthrough they wanted, as Gill was playing Trent Boult very nicely on the up and pull. Shortly the hitman departed too and when it was 63/2, we had Pujara in with the Captain and there we saw the best of them leaving the bad ones. At 88/3 and Rahane in the field, he started his masterclass knocking and scoreboard came to a halt at 146/3 after 64 overs due to bad light.
Day3, India lost Kohli and then on 49, a not so good shot by Rahane gave him away on the square leg. Then we just went on tumbling with the pace of the game and 217 in 92 overs with Jamieson 5/31. India then hands things over onto its bowlers and the things went on a different track. Until the day was over New Zealand capitalised the scoreboard very well and stood at 101/2. The line and length of Ishant was good, while only the last two overs of the day from Bumrah to Kane was the only time it looked like Bumrah is back in rhythm.
It rained on Day4 and at last, the day was called off.
Day5, Indian team could not start from the place where they left, but then the line picked by Shami changed the scenario for team India along with Ashwin and Ishant. They tantalised New Zealand batting line-up for 249. Tim Southee made Indian bowlers work hard for his wicket and the 30 he scored made the difference to give them a lead of 32 runs. And just on the same note of Day 2, we were again 64/2 on scoreboard with Gill and Rohit back to Pavilion with a reserve day on the line. Southee got them both by putting off 5 out-swingers and then pulling one inside onto the pads getting them lbw.
Reserve Day, the line and length from the New Zealand’s bowlers were exceptionally well placed and they got the better of India getting them all out for just 170. With 98 overs, India should have stayed on the pitch more and analyzed the situation well but no one knows why they were in a hurry. 98 overs on the final day and India left 53 overs for the blackcaps to chase just 139 as the target.
New Zealanders were good to give themselves a slow start as they knew its just about playing the few bad balls to reach the target. Two wickets did fell and thanks to Ashwin for showing some stint till the end.
Things to call for or what we saw and learned, the stats from the WTC Final:
Colin de Grandhomme might have just come in the first innings to bowl but the man gained a swing angle of 2.63, while Southee comes only second with 2.32. The only Indian seamer on the list was Ishant who got just 1.37.
While through the whole course of WTC, slip catching was most effective and New Zealand with 90 catches, makes them the hardest back four standing to go past their hands while India was on 6th with 82 catches. Indian batters may have faired in the false shot % category playing and defending well with only 19.6%, while New Zealand with 21.4% of false shot.
Many questions came up on Ravindra Jadeja’s selection as well but it is better to go with the World Test No.1 all-rounder than going with Vihari or 4th Bowler.
MARNUS LABUSCHANGNE was the highest run-getter smashing 1675 runs in 13 matches i.e. 23 innings at a spectacular average of 72.82.
RAVICHANDRAN ASHWIN scalped 71wickets in the WTC and became the best and highest wicket taker with an average of 20.16.
“India now moves onto start the new cycle of the WTC 2021-2023 against England in a 5-Match test series in August. For this, India needs to reassess, replan and execute the best by being fearless and put in the right people with a great mindset to perform.”