Recent Match Report - India vs New Zealand Final 2019-2021

Recent Match Report – India vs New Zealand Final 2019-2021


All the stats, analysis and colour from the title bout of the inaugural World Test Championship

Take two. Are you ready for the Ultimate Test? Virat Kohli’s India and Kane Williamson’s New Zealand will be itching to get on the field and get this World Test Championship final underway, after all the rain on day one. Here’s ESPNcricinfo’s live updates – please refresh your page for the latest.
Click here for ball-by-ball commentary. Here’s our live coverage in Hindi.


New Zealand stick India in

Kane Williamson has won the toss, and asked India to bat first. He has won 19 tosses in Test cricket, and chosen to field in 14 of them. Many of them are because New Zealand is a bowl-first country and the pitches there just keep getting better and better.

This decision, though, is down to the conditions created by the rain and the weather forecast. There is early moisture to be exploited, and the cool weather means the pitch won’t deteriorate as much as it usually does in Tests, which actually makes batting first the right choice most of the times. The last spot in their side goes to Colin de Grandhomme so they are going in with no spinner.

India, on the other hand, are sticking with two spinners. Virat Kohli says their spinners are of such high quality they can use a damp surface too. As R Ashwin showed at MCG late last year when he took important wickets in the first session. So they didn’t feel any need to change the XI they had named.

By the way, India, too, would have bowled first had they won the toss.

Here are the teams

India 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli (capt.)*, 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Rishabh Pant (wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Ishant Sharma, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

New Zealand 1 Tom Latham, 2 Devon Conway, 3 Kane Williamson (capt.), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Henry Nicholls, 6 BJ Watling (wk), 7 Colin de Grandhomme, 8 Kyle Jamieson, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Neil Wagner, 11 Trent Boult


‘Pleasurable for bowlers’

The pitch report is in. Simon Doull and Sunil Gavaskar see the grass and call it a “pleasurable” surface for the bowlers. There is grass, there are the overheads. And this Test might not get all five days in. So a real case for bowl first.

India’s coach Ravi Shastri has confirmed India won’t change the XI they had named. Had it rained even today, they might have thought along those lines, but there is enough depth, skill and variation, he says, for a proper Test match.

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