World Trial Championship final: New Zealand and India “excited” for historic final
|Location: Hampshire Bowl Dated: June 18-22 (reserve day June 23) Time: 10:30 am BST|
|Blanket: In-game highlights, Test Match Special commentary, and text coverage on the BBC Sport website and app.|
“It’s exciting. It’s unique and we know that in cricket anything can happen.”
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson knows better than anyone that almost anything can happen on a cricket pitch.
Now the Black Caps, two years after their excruciating defeat in the World Cup final, meet almighty India as both sides play for cricket history.
Over the next five – perhaps six – days at Southampton, one of the two nations will be crowned the first test world champion.
“I have no doubt that it will be widely followed and fans around the world are delighted to see it unfold,” added Williamson. “We’re just lucky to be involved in it.”
Although doubts remain, the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship, hit by Covid-19, served up an intriguing and flagship finale featuring the two outstanding male test teams, each bursting with world-class talent.
“This is not a one-day cricket match or a Twenty20 match that ends in hours,” said Indian captain Virat Kohli.
“It is a difficult task over a five day period and something that we are very proud of.
“We understand the type of cricket we played to get here in the final. We are just delighted to step onto the pitch and start this test match.”
India XI: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma.
New Zealand team: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Will Young.
Fans and a sixth day at the inaugural centerpiece
The final – passed from Lord’s to Southampton due to the pandemic – is the culmination of two and a half years of men’s cricket testing, following the introduction of the Test World Championship in 2019 to give better context to the more long.
India and New Zealand qualified thanks to their placing at the top of the nine-team standings, Kohli’s team first and the Black Caps second.
Approximately 3,200 spectators will be allowed into the Ageas Bowl each day and the field will be almost full for the first four days.
Wednesday has been scheduled as a reserve day to make up for lost time during the match.
The sixth day will only be used to recover the lost time.
If no results are possible over five full regular days, the £ 1.7million prize pool and test mass, the trophy previously awarded to the top-ranked men’s test team, will be shared and the teams named co-winners.
Favorites? Who knows…
It can be argued that New Zealand or India are the favorites.
India is the power of cricket. They lead the trial championship standings and will field a formidable team of superstars including hitters Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant.
Their bowling attack is bolstered by fast Mohammad Shami and versatile Ravindra Jadeja, who line up alongside Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
But India’s only loss in their last eight series has been against New Zealand, when Williamson’s side won a home series 2-0 in early 2020.
Relative minions in terms of finances and population, the Black Caps have won seven of their last eight events, trailing the other.
|India||Test the mean||Counters||Test the mean||Counters||New Zealand|
|Jasprit bumrah||22.10||84||28.31||309||Tim southee|
|Mohamed chami||27.58||180||27.85||287||Trent Boult|
|Ishant sharma||32.20||303||26.38||226||Neil wagner|
|Ravichandran Ashwin||24.69||409||3:15 p.m.||39||Kyle jamieson|
|Ravindra Jadeja||24.32||220||46.27||37||Matt henri|
They reach the final thanks to their recent series victory over England – a contest that gave them ideal preparation for facing India, whose last test was in March.
Unlike India, New Zealand resisted the urge to name its camp on Thursday.
Their toughest job will be deciding which of their bowlers – Rapids Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner and Matt Henry and spinner Ajaz Patel – will miss.
|India||Test the mean||Test the mean||New Zealand|
|Shubman gill||34.36||41.84||Tom latham|
|Rohit sharma||46.69||76.50||Devon conway|
|Cheteshwar Pujara||46.59||53.60||Kane williamson|
|Virat Kohli||52.37||45.76||Ross taylor|
|Ajinkya Rahane||41.28||43.40||Henri nicholl|
|Rishabh pants||45.26||37.89||BJ Watling|
Jonathan Agnew, BBC Cricket Correspondent:
It will be a historic match for Test Cricket. It is good to give relevance to the cricket test.
There are still people who have yet to be convinced of the Test Championship, including the International Cricket Council itself. Let’s see how it goes.
I’m not sure if the split prize for a raffle will work because you’re wondering if a team on the last day would go for the whole thing or shut themselves up and say “we’ll take the money, thank you”.
That said, both teams are worthy finalists and the game is balanced.
After what happened with the super over in the 2019 World Cup final, there will be a lot of people who will want New Zealand to win. The rainy weather that is expected will suit their sewing bowlers and will even make the game.
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