India and New Zealand would look to outsmart each other when the teams square off in the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final, which starts June 18 at The Ageas Bowl, Southampton.
ICC WTC was played in two years cycle and the two teams at the top of the points table qualified for the final. While India finished at the top of the points table with 12 wins in 17 matches, New Zealand won 7 out of 7 matches they played.
New Zealand are coming into this final with a dominating performance against England in the recent Test series. They won the two-match Test series by 1-0 after an 8-wicket victory in the second game. Team India, on the other hand has played some intra-squad matches in England to understand the pitch behavior and the new conditions. They will be playing a five-match Test series against England later in August this year.
World Test Championship Final Squads
India has announced a 24-man squad for the WTC final, including 4 ‘standby’ players. While Virat Kohli will lead the Indian side, Ajinkya Rahane will be his deputy.
Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed. Shami, Mohammed. Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul (wicket-keeper), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper)
Standby Players: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla
New Zealand Squad
New Zealand has named a 20-member squad for the WTC final. Kane Williamson will lead the side and BJ Watling will don the wicket-keeping duties for the Kiwi side.
Kane Williamson (C), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Doug Bracewell, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Jacob Duffy, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryll Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (WK), Will Young.
Schedule and Venue for WTC Final
The World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and New Zealand will be played from 18th June to 22nd June 2021 at Southampton.
Playing Conditions For WTC Final
What kind of bowl will be used in WTC Final?
Dukes will be used in WTC Final. Duke balls are hand-stitched. The hand-stitch gives a prominent seam and threads are closer to each other which makes it lasts longer than Kookaburra, which has two outer rows of machine-stitching and two inner rows of hand-stitching.
The duke ball is held by six rows which go backward and forward across the joint which helps in holding the ball together for a longer period and keeps the shape of the ball intact.
What if final ends in a draw?
India and New Zealand will end as joint winners in case of a draw or a tie in World Test Championship (WTC) final.
Is there a reserve day?
Yes, the 23rd of June has been allocated as the Reserve Day for the WTC Final. The sixth day or the reserve day will have a maximum of 330 minutes or 83 overs with the additional last hour. This basically means that if in 325 minutes 83 overs are bowled on the 23rd of June, then the last hour kicks in (which will be time bound and not overs bound). Similarly, if 330 minutes lapse on the sixth day and only 81 overs are bowled, again the final hour will start clocking.
What about follow-on?
If the entire first day’s play is abandoned due to rain. Even then the WTC Final will be a five-day affair with reserve day coming into play. The follow-on will be of 200 runs in this case. Even if one over of play takes on Day 1 and then the day is rained out, then also the follow-on will stay 200.
If the first two complete days of play is washed out due to rain, then the WTC Final will turn into a four-day match. In this case, the follow-on will be of 150 runs.
More Playing Conditions
The Third Umpire will automatically review any call of a ‘short run’ by the On-field Umpire and communicate the decision to the On-field Umpire prior to the next ball being bowled.
The fielding captain or the dismissed batsman may confirm with the Umpire whether a genuine attempt has been made to play the ball prior to deciding whether to initiate a player review for LBW.
For LBW reviews, the height margin of the Wicket Zone has been lifted to the top of the stumps to ensure the same Umpire’s Call margin around the stumps for both height and width.
What is the prize money for Winner?
The winners of the much-awaited ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and New Zealand will take home a purse of $1.6 million along with the ICC Test Championship Mace.
The losing team will get $800,000 for finishing second in the nine-team competition, which was played over a near two-year cycle, adding context to Test cricket and to crown the first official world champions in the longest format of the game.
The prize money for the team finishing third in the ICC World Test Championship Standings is $450,000. The team fourth on the table will be awarded $350,000, the one that finishes fifth gets $200,000 while the remaining four teams will get $100,000 each.
Broadcast Details For WTC Final
Match Timings: 3:30 PM (IST)
TV: Star Sports Network
Live Streaming: Hotstar