The first news from Southampton, where the ICC World Test Championship final (WTC) is scheduled to start on Friday, is quite an unwelcoming one. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has confirmed, on its Twitter handle, that play in the first session has been called off due to persistent rain at The Ageas Bowl.
India and New Zealand, captained by Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson respectively, are set to clash in ‘The Ultimate Test’ in the WTC final for the Test mace. However, with the rain gods showing no mercy on the cricket fans, who have been excited about this iconic clash, the play in the WTC final is delayed by a session, so is the toss.
While it too far to think at the moment – though not considering the English weather – there is a sixth day (reserve day) also available in case overs are lost and not completed in the 5 given days due to the unhelpful weather. However, to the dismay of the fans, the weather forecast for the course of the WTC Final Test match isn’t encouraging.
India had finished as the WTC table leaders, followed by New Zealand. But, Kane Williamson’s outfit comes into the WTC Final as the Number 1 ICC Test team having beaten hosts England 1-0 in a 2-Test series preceding the mega-clash with Virat Kohli’s men.
Update: Unfortunately there will be no play in the first session on Day 1 of the ICC World Test Championship final. #WTC21
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 18, 2021
India include Ravindra Jadeja over Hanuma Vihari, Mohammed Siraj not picked
Meanwhile, India named their eleven on Thursday for the WTC Final to face the Kiwis. They are going with 5 bowling options, which include Ravindra Jadeja as the all-rounder meaning Hanuma Vihari has been benched.
Other than Vihari, Mohammed Siraj, who was impressive in Australia, and senior players, Umesh Yadav, and Wriddhiman Saha are also excluded from the 15-man squad announced earlier.
India Playing XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.