New Zealand's Latham thankful for extra day after India final starts with washout

By: AFP      Published: 07:53 PM, 18 Jun, 2021
New Zealand's Latham thankful for extra day after India final starts with washout

New Zealand's Tom Latham was thankful for the possibility of extra time after the opening day's play in the inaugural World Test Championship final against India at Southampton on Friday was washed out without a ball being bowled.

While a standard Test lasts a maximum of five days, this fixture can be extended into a sixth day should match referee Chris Broad decide that is the only way to make-up time lost earlier in the game to bad weather.

"It's great that there's the extra day, and hopefully whatever happens then there might be a result on that last day," Latham told reporters after play was called off Friday. 

"It's disappointing, the rain today. It's just one of those things that as cricketers you need to adapt, and unfortunately that's something we can't control. 

"For us it's just about waiting, and then when we get the opportunity to come on, making sure we're ready to go."

A match that represents the culmination of two years' worth of series stalled after heavy overnight and early morning rain delayed the scheduled 10:30 am local time (0930 GMT) start and ensured there was no play before lunch.

With south coast county Hampshire's headquarters subjected to further downpours, it was no surprise when umpires Michael Gough and Richard Illingworth abandoned play for the day at 2:48 pm (1348 GMT).

This fixture is worth $1.6 million to the winners and $800,000 to the runners-up.

India captain Virat Kohli, however, questioned its value in sports terms by saying Thursday: "If you're talking about Test cricket and deciding who is the best team in the world on one game over a period of five days, that is not the reality of the truth."

India named their team on Thursday, with pacemen Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja all included in the same Test side for the first time.

New Zealand have yet to unveil their side and India could change their XI as well given the teams don't have to be confirmed until the toss.

But India fielding coach Ramakrishnan Sridhar said Friday he expected Kohli to stick with his chosen team.

"I think the XI which has been announced is an XI which takes the pitch and the conditions out of the equation," Sridhar explained. 

"I think it is an XI which can play and perform on any given surface in any given weather conditions."

World Test Championship final starts with washed out first day

The inaugural World Test Championship final suffered a setback at the outset after persistent rain meant there was no play at all between India and New Zealand on Friday's opening day at Southampton.

The toss should have taken place at 10:00 am local time (0900 GMT), with the match getting under way 30 minutes later, but heavy overnight and early morning rain meant the pitch and square at the Hampshire Bowl remained fully covered.

Several more downpours hit the ground and it was no surprise when the umpires abandoned play for the day at 2:48 pm (1348 GMT).

While a standard Test lasts a maximum of five days, this fixture can be extended into a sixth day should match referee Chris Broad decide that it is the only way to make-up time lost in the game to bad weather.

But former England batsman Broad won't be called on to make such a decision until the fifth day as the match could be over before then in any event.

This fixture, worth $1.6 million to the winners and $800,000 to the runners-up, represents the culmination of a two-year programme of series to crown a champion team in men's Test cricket, with India and New Zealand topping the qualifying table.

India captain Virat Kohli, however, questioned whether a one-off game could decide the world's best Test side by saying Thursday: "If you're talking about Test cricket and deciding who is the best team in the world on one game over a period of five days, that is not the reality of the truth."

The star batsman added: "For me, this is another Test match that has to be played."

India named their team on Thursday, with the pace trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami as well as spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja all included in the same Test XI for the first time.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, recovered from an elbow injury that saw him miss the Blackcaps' series-clinching win over England at Edgbaston last week, said he would delay announcing his side until the toss.

India too could yet change their side, as teams don't have to be confirmed until the toss takes place.

Rain delayed the scheduled start of the inaugural World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand at Southampton on Friday, with no play before lunch on the opening day.

The toss should have taken place at 10:00 am local time (0900 GMT), with the match getting underway 30 minutes later, but heavy overnight and early morning rain meant the pitch and square at the Hampshire Bowl remained fully covered as groundstaff began the lengthy process of clearing surface water off the outfield.

While a standard Test lasts a maximum of five days, this fixture can be extended into a sixth day should match referee Chris Broad decide that it is the only way to make-up time lost in the game to bad weather.

But former England batsman Broad won't be called on to make such a decision until the fifth day as the match could be over before then in any event.

World Test Championship final starts with washed out first day

This fixture, worth $1.6 million to the winners and $800,000 to the runners-up, represents the culmination of a two-year programme of series to crown a champion team in men's Test cricket, with India and New Zealand topping the qualifying table.

India captain Virat Kohli, however, questioned whether a one-off game could decide the world's best Test side by saying Thursday: "If you're talking about Test cricket and deciding who is the best team in the world on one game over a period of five days, that is not the reality of the truth.

"It is not going to reflect anything for people who really understand the game and who know exactly what has gone on over the last four or five years and how the teams have fared."

The star batsman added: "For me, this is another Test match that has to be played."

India named their team on Thursday, with the pace trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami as well as spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja all included in the same Test XI for the first time.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, recovered from an elbow injury that saw him miss the Blackcaps' series-clinching win over England at Edgbaston last week, said he would delay announcing his side until the toss.

India too could yet change their side, as teams don't have to be confirmed until the toss takes place.