As it happened – India vs New Zealand, WTC final, Southampton, 4th day
All the stats, analysis and colour from the title bout of the inaugural World Test Championship
That’s it for day 4 then
They have taken the call to end it here. We now have a maximum of 196 overs to get a result out of this otherwise the trophy and the award money will be shared. I leave you with this yarn from Nagraj Gollapudi:
Gopi walks from behind as I stare at the empty expanse of the wet and soggy Hampshire Bowl. We are standing at the mouth of one of the alleyways in the bowels the Shane Warne stand. “I need to decide whether to stay back or head back,” Gopi says.
Gopi is from a small village in Madurai in southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. He is in London for a short duration on an assignment with an IT company. His working hours are synched with the US timezone and hence he is desperate to know whether the fourth day of the WTC final will start at all or should he head back. Gopi has to start work at 1500 hours UK time (1930 IST) but reckons he can still pull it off in case he leaves for London by 1600 hours.
Monday is a very special day in his life: it is a first time Gopi has come to a cricket ground. After a work colleague cancelled his visit, Gopi bought the ticket, a gold category one, for 150 pounds (about INR 1.5 lakhs). Gopi paid an extra 49 pounds to get his return train ticket on Monday from London and spent another 10 quid for the bus journey to the ground.
Why did he want to come to the ground when the rain had been forecast for the virtually the entire day? “I just hoped there would play,” Gopi says, mouth covered by the mask, but with twinkling eyes and a gold ear stud shimmering in the gloomy light. “It is a big day for me. I come from a middle-class family froma village near Madurai. In India I could never think of buying a ticket and going to a match while I was growing up. But now I got the opportunity so I took it up.”
While at the ground Gopi went closer to the on-site team hotel to wave at some Indian players including Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and even spotted Virat Kohli and his family holed up in their room. Will he disappointed if there is no play? “No. I came the ground and it is an experience I will not forget. I still got to watch some players and feel happy that I come.”
Even if there is no play on Monday Gopi says he will be back on Wednesday when the ticket prices will be halved. He has already asked his friends to buy him one.
As the drizzle carries on I leave Gopi to wrestle with the vital question: stay back or go?
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It still looks nasty in Southampton. So let’s listen to this analysis
Wet wet wet
The news, as you have seen over at our ball-by-ball commentary, is that we are in for a long delay. It has been raining, and it is raining in Southampton. So settle in: we will bring you updates, analysis, stories and distractions as we go along.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo