Of the completed 4 days of scheduled cricket, only 141.1 overs of play has been possible so far in the ongoing inaugural ICC World Test Championship Final between India and New Zealand at The Ageas Bowl. Two days – the first and fourth – were washed out, and the match is heading for a draw considering the frequent stoppages the game has had due to weather.
However, for the uninitiated, there is also a reserve day in the bank for the players, which will be Wednesday, June 23. But what about the official fifth Day, Tuesday, June 22?
Well, the news isn’t too bad not too great, meaning play is likely to happen, but not for long. The weather forecast says the conditions in Southampton on Tuesday will be mostly cloudy, with the cloud cover expected for 94% of the time. However, during the time of the day’s play rain is forecasted to stay away – Precipitation is at 24% for the entire day – and the sun will be out, shining as it did in the second session on Day 3. Hence we could get some cricket to watch.
The other good news is that the weather prediction for the reserve day is much better. The sun is expected to be out and there is no forecast for rain, while the cloud cover too will be low at 25%, and Precipitation at a low 10%.
Over the last few years, we have seen many Test matches end inside four days – plenty of them inside three days as well. With conditions favouring the bowlers – of which both teams possess high quality – it is still a possibility that we might have a result at hand, and one team could be crowned the WTC champions, instead of the shared winners.
Kyle Jamieson, Devon Conway put New Zealand slightly ahead of India
It is difficult to argue that New Zealand are ahead of India, even marginally, in the WTC Final after play on Day 3. Kyle Jamieson continued his rise in international cricket starting with the wicket of India and his RCB captain Virat Kohli early on Sunday. He picked up his 5th five-wicket haul in just his 8th Test match – his average now stands at an incredible 14.14 – as India lost 7 wickets fell for 71 runs, bundling out for 217.
On the bowling front, despite everyone bowling with a great amount of discipline, India were kept wicketless for 34 over by the New Zealand openers – Tom Latham and Devon Conway.
Ravichandran Ashwin provided the Asian team with their first breakthrough in the form of Latham’s wicket. On the other end, Conway notched up his third Test 50+ score in his third Test match, before a bizarre shot saw him throw away his wicket before bad light forced early stumps with New Zealand trailing by 116 more runs.