New Zealand emerged winners of the maiden World Test Championship, beating India by eight wickets at the Rose Bowl. The ICC’s strategy of having an extra reserve day paid off as the Black Caps forced a result on the sixth and final day of the test. Here are our talking points from the game.
Did the lack of practice games hurt India?
While the Black Caps came into the WTC final on the back of a two test series against hosts England, India didn’t have that luxury. There were no first class practice games against any county teams ahead of this marquee test, with the visitors having to make do with intra-squad matches. It, as skipper Kohli admitted after the game, was a factor that worked against Ravi Shastri’s men.
Jasprit Bumrah disappointing
India’s pacers were a big reason for their success in the WTC, and they chose to stick with the troika of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Ishant Sharma. While the Kiwis played four seamers plus a a seaming all rounder in Colin de Grandhomme, India played two spinning all rounders in Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, thus choosing not to play Mohammad Siraj or Umesh Yadav as a potential extra option.
The form of the pacers were a big reason why India were considered strong favourites ahead of the final. Shami and Ishant gave a good account of themselves, but Bumrah was a tad disappointing, and it ensured that the Indian pacers didn’t quite have the same effect that the Black Caps fast bowling quartet of Jamieson, Wagner, Boult and Southee did.
Of the seven regular fast bowlers in the test, Bumrah was the only one not to claim a wicket.
A deserved win for New Zealand
It might not quite make up for the disappointment of losing the 2019 World Cup final on the boundary count rule, but the Kiwis are everyone’s second favourite team, and no one will grudge them winning the first ever WTC. After disappointments in both the 2015 and 2019 World Cup finals, this was a welcome victory for the Black Caps and their supporters and also meant that the first WTC win went to a non-big three member.
Jamieson all round show stuns India
This was a test to remember for Kyle Jamieson. The tall RCB pacer broke the back of India’s batting in the first innings with excellent figures of 5/31 in his 22 overs. He also scored a quickfire 21 with the bat- very important runs in a low scoring test match, and claimed the key wickets of both Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara on the final day to set the show up for a stunning Black Caps victory.
Jamieson’s 21 and Tim Southee’s 30 in the first innings were also instrumental in New Zealand taking a small second innings lead after India had them on the ropes at 162/6. The Black Caps went from 162/6 to 249 all out- India on the other hand had gone from 182/6 to 217 all out in theirs, and games between big teams are often decided by small margins such as these.