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WTC Final, India vs New Zealand: Rain plays spoilsport as first day gets washed out

Updated: Jun 19, 2021

The excitement around witnessing the first day of the World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand was ruined after the rain washed out the entire day’s play at the Rose Bowl Stadium on Friday. The second day’s play will start at the scheduled time tomorrow at 10:30 am local.

ICC had taken a wise decision to add a reserve day for the WTC final. Their concerns around the same did come true as the reserve day might come into the picture if the match goes till the fifth day. The overs lost today will be compensated in the following days. As many as 98 overs will be bowled tomorrow. If there is no result in the next four days plays given entire quota of overs aren't bowled then match would shift to the reserve day.

What about the Follow on?

In an ideal situation, a team can enforce a follow-on if there is a deficit of 200 runs. But, if the rain washes out the first day’s play, the margin gets revised to 150. Thankfully, the ICC has a reserved day in place, meaning the follow-on criterion remains 200 runs. If the second day’s play also gets washed out due to rain, then the follow-on margin would get reduced to 150.

Can India make changes in the playing XI?

Ahead of the start of the WTC final, team India had announced their playing XI for the summit clash. India went with Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill as the openers. Both Hanuma Vihari and Mohammad Siraj were excluded from the playing XI. Virat Kohli and Co. went with two spinners in Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja and three pacers namely Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Ishant Sharma.

However, Indian Skipper, Virat Kohli can still make changes in the playing XI as the toss is still to take place. And, teams are yet to be exchanged among captains that usually happens at the toss. But, due to incessant rain yesterday, groundsmen won't be able to cut the grass which means a 'green deck' and New Zealand pacers are really good in such conditions. So, Virat Kohli might be itching to add an extra pacer to the playing XI.

New Zealand, on the other hand, are yet to announce their playing XI for the final. There have been talks around including Ajaz Patel ahead of Colin de Grandhomme. But, now due to continuous rain and a damp wicket, Kane Williamson would love to have Colin in the playing XI.

How Players Spent the Day?

While both the teams were waiting for play to begin but, rain gods had their own plans for day one. Once the early declaration came from the umpire, India team found playing darts for fun whereas New Zealand players went to the ground during lunch break to have a bit fun under rain.

BCCI and Blackcaps' share some interesting videos via Twitter handle for their fans.

Day 2 Weather

Reports have suggested that the weather will get better in the first half of Day 2, however, rains are expected for the rest of the Test match. From tomorrow onwards, as many as 98 overs will be bowled every day throughout the course of the Test. The first session will be played from 3 PM to 5 PM (IST), while the second session will be played from 5:40 PM to 7:40 PM. The final session will be played between 8PM and 10:30 PM.


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