There is some worrying news for the cricket fans as the much-awaited World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand could be interrupted with heavy rain during all five days at Southampton. The final is starting 18th of June at the famous Rose Bowl in Southampton, England.
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ICC has made the statement earlier that if the game doesn’t produce results the inaugural trophy will be shared between the two captains i.e. Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson. There is a reserve day on the 6th day of the match i.e. 23rd of June.
Former England spinner Monty Panesar posted a weather forecast for Southampton on Monday on his Twitter account that shows a 70-80% chance of rain during those days including the reserve day. According to Weather Channel and AccuWeather reports, a thunderstorm is expected to hit Southampton on the 17th and 18th of June and have 80% rain chances.
— Monty Panesar (@MontyPanesar) June 14, 2021
Of all the other five days, the second day of the match is expected to have the least amount of rain and will remain cloudy. Rain is never a friend of cricket and this weather could affect the outfield as well, which could lead both the captains to change their tactics. If the forecast is right, then the teams will miss their practice sessions before the game, which is a big setback before the much anticipated big final.
New Zealand has a strong pace attack that includes Trent Boult and Tim Southee, pacers who can swing the ball in both ways. They are also currently in a very confident zone after their test series against England. On the other hand, Virat Kohli might use all his four pacers for this game. Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj could take advantage of the overcast and windy conditions.
Chetaswar Pujara, who has scored 6244 runs in 85 Tests, said reaching the WTC final is a special achievement for the Indian team. Pujara also claims that New Zealand will be starting the game as favourites as they had a very successful test series against England recently.
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“They will obviously have the advantage having played two Test matches. That is before the final but when it comes to the final we will give our best. We know that our team has the potential to do well and win the championship.”
“So we are not worried about that. We will try and focus on these 10 to 12 days which we have for preparation. We are also going to play a practice game and we will try and make the most of what we have. If we utilise these days well, I feel that our team will be up for the final.”
Pujara had a terrific test series in India’s famous win in Australia earlier this year. He plays only this format for the national side. The batsman plays a very crucial no. 3 in the batting lineup. He also says it will be the most challenging for the batsmen to bat in fickle weather conditions. The concentration level should be high.
“Playing in different conditions in a single day here is the most challenging part for a batsman. That is because if it rains you go off the field. Then suddenly it stops raining and you start again. So there are breaks in between. This is where you need to understand and accept the challenge. Mentally you have to be strong. Your concentration needs to be up to the mark.”