India reaches another Semi-final…India have been crushed in the final lap again…The nightmare is coming back time after time again to haunt the Indians.
The Kiwi smiles are back in the face of the team and the fans; specially of their captain Kane Williamson when a leg stump ball had been whipped out of the boundary rope by the most experienced Ross Taylor to become the First World Test Champions of the Cricketing World getting the Test mace in hand.
As the respective nation’s time suggests, the winners had written a new chapter with the sunrise whereas India, at 11 in the night, has felt the dark night.
The Ultimate Test:
The 2-year cycle of getting the best of the “Ultimate Test”, the final was stated to take center stage in Titanic Town Southampton. Just like the typical English weather, there was heavy rain predications in the early three days of the game. The first day pictures suggested that the Ageas Bowl had turned out into a lake making the reserve day into play.
Day 2, the first of the test match, not so bright but enough to get play underway found Williamson selecting to bowl first on a grass bank that was under covers for more than a day. Unlike the usual Indian start, the opener got off to a great start with 62-0 but the Kiwis made a comeback getting three quick wickets with the new Indian wall, Cheteshwar Pujara being one of them. With bad lights making sure early stumps, India finished at 146-3.
Indian middle order disappointed:
On the next day with a better forecast waiting, the Blackcaps after getting Kohli on his overnight score, thrashed the opponent batting line-up like a bulldozer. Expect Rahane (49), who got out in an ugly but a well-made plan, none had the answers of the bowling. In less than 100-runs from beginning the day, the blue brigade lost their 7-wickets missing an advantage. Bj Watling, playing his farewell test, spectacled one of the greatest exhibitions of keeping skills; from running one side to another or keeping his eyes for long time on the ball before gloving it.
New Zealand too got off to a great start with openers were looking so solid despite more plays and misses throughout the course of play. Just before going off due to bad light, wicket of in-form Devon Conway made it even-steven for both the side. I just tweeted at the moment that the duo will resume batting the day after tomorrow with the worst forecast awaiting us.
Can there be a change of venue for the final:
It was not that heavy on the 4th day but the drizzle was enough to keep the covers on. There was so much talking going on about the International Cricket Council (ICC) not selecting the right venue for the final. Just to keep weight on their side, let’s make a fair calculation of what they could have done?
It’s monsoon time in the sub-continent with cold freezing winter feather in Australia, New Zealand and probably in South Africa too, whereas the West Indies playing their test series against South Africa had been hit by the showers too and lastly, hardly one will love to tour 40-degree temperature of UAE. They could have selected an extra reserve day but because it’s the first final, it’s normal to find some gaps in scheduling for sure.
Now, with two sunny days remaining of the test including the reserve day, it appeared to be shipping in a boring draw but as I said it just appeared. After a brief spell of rain showers, New Zealand went to a defensive mode with just around 38 runs for losing 3-wickets in the first 2-hours but then their tail wagging around the ball all over the park, thanks to Both Southee and Jamieson, the collected a crucial 32-run lead.
Gritty Williamson advanced New Zealand:
Two things stood out, one about Williamson, who was been criticized for the slow approach but because of him standing tall even with an injured elbow, his team got saved from a downfall & the other thig was the last four wickets: in just 12-runs, India lost their last four wickets with Jadeja still trusting the bowling friends after the 9th wicket giving singles; the Kiwis on the other hand had got 57-runs for the same number of wickets. The Day-Night distance!!!
With India losing Rohit and Gill going into the 6th day; first time sixth day test since 1979, had so many plans of squeezing a result. But losing Kohli and Pujara in between 10-deliveries, the Blackcaps stood tall and one good thing about them was variety; when they found so success for bowling full to Pant and Jadeja, they straightaway went to the short ball system and paid off quickly. Rishabh tried his level best but pressure of the final might have got the best off them. With just 139 to chase for Kane and his lads, the result was almost before our eyes unless India do nearly an Australia of Adelaide. But they didn’t…
The game is about mutual respect and love:
New Zealand getting injured for 2-wickets easily reached the winning position with two of the most deservale candidates in the middle. The wait was over and the last world cup final made it too sweet to taste. The dressing room went mad with bears coming off the bottle and why not, they deserved it fully.
“It’s a special feeling, it’s nice to get one under the belt.” Williamson spoke out. “Test Cricket is the heart-beat of the game.” words of Virat Kohli praising the form of Cricket.
Let’s be very honest; when your side has lost a test match under 320-overs, less than four days, as a batsman you have to look at the mirrors now. We had seen some world-class bowling from both the bunches but Indian batsman have to tick some boxes quickly before facing Broad, Anderson, Wood, Woakes from August. You can’t win a test match when a bowler has a figure of 46-overs 22-maidens 7-wickets for 61runs and others are Boult, Southee and Wagner.
Yes, India have been a powerful side winning series at home and in Australia too but the bottom line says that THEY HAVE LOST ANOTHER ICC TROPHY. On the flip of the coin, New Zealand has scripted a new history after their destroy in South Africa 8-years back.
The Good Humble boys don’t always finish last….