Live Report – India vs New Zealand, WTC final, Southampton, 6th day (reserve day)
All the stats, analysis and colour from the title bout of the inaugural World Test Championship
Dale Steyn on the Tim Southee inswinger
Last dance with MaryJane
And so it has come to this. Final day of the Test, the reserve day, to decide who takes the World Test Championship. It would appear India’s best shot now is to share it with New Zealand but stranger things have happened in cricket. How many overs do New Zealand realistically need to bat to win? If they can tie India up, they could even win this in 45, meaning they need to take the remaining nine Indian wicket in 50 overs. If they bowl economically, that is.
There will be a lot of discussion on how these sides will approach this final day, but I think they will just play their normal cricket. Cheteshwar Pujara won’t suddenly try to set up a declaration, and Virat Kohli won’t suddenly shut shop. Don’t forget that batting time is not the only route available to India. Scoring runs also plays New Zealand out.
New Zealand, too, will look to bowl normally. Keep the runs down, bowl good balls, and create about 80-90 false responses. They have five seam bowlers. They will just hope for more help from the pitch than they got in the evening session.
The weather, as if to tease us, is glorious finally. Is it too late? Or do we have a glorious final session still left? Drawing and sharing the trophy is all well and good, but nothing is quite the same as winning it outright. Does a side have enough skill, luck and time? We will start finding out in half an hour.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo