New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson is chuffed to bits after BlackCaps became the first side to qualify for the summit clash of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship, set to take place at the ‘Home of Cricket’ Lord’s between June 18-22, 2021.
New Zealand became the first team to officially qualify for the Test Championship final following the postponement of the Test series between South Africa and Australia.
Australia were scheduled to lock horns with South Africa in a three-match Test series in the rainbow nation but Cricket Australia decided to postpone the rubber due to the prevailing Covid-19 situation in the country. New Zealand were helped by the fact that Australia dropped crucial points against India in the recently-concluded Test series and also by the fact that the Tim Paine-led unit got four points docked off their tally due to slow over-rate during the Melbourne Test.
Had Australia not got those four points docked off their kitty, then they would gave pegged ahead of the Kiwis given the fact that both sides had the same percentage points  but the former had better Runs per wicket ratio.
That said, no one can take away the fact that New Zealand, barring the Test series in Australia, were hugely dominant throughout the WTC cycle. Barring the 0-3 defeat in Australia, the Kane Williamson-led Kiwis drew in Sri Lanka [1-1] besides smashing the likes of India, West Indies, and Pakistan by a margin of 2-0 on fine soil.
Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, Kane Williamson said he really excited at the prospect of playing the WTC final besides stating that the qualification is an acknowledgment of the hard work that his side has put in throughout the summer.
“It’s really exciting and really chuffed for all the guys. It acknowledges a lot of hard work through the summer,” Kane Williamson said.
“Obviously Covid changed the qualifying a little bit but it meant a number of teams were in the hunt. Coming into our summer it was going ‘right, if we win these four Tests, that gives us an opportunity to be there [in the final]’. We did manage to do that and play some good cricket along the way and it’s really exciting to get the nod. The Test guys will be really excited at that prospect.” he added.
Kane Williamson and his New Zealand team will now have to wait for the outcome of the Test series between India and England to find out their opponent in the WTC final.