New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee took a brilliant catch at third slip to send back Indian opener Rohit Sharma (34) on Day 2 of the World Test Championship (WTC) final in Southampton.
Invited to bat after losing the toss, Team India openers Rohit and Shubman Gill got the side off to a confident start. Battling hard against the moving ball, the duo added 62 runs in 20 overs.
Off the first ball of the 21st over, tall pacer Kyle Jamieson provided New Zealand with the first breakthrough in the WTC final. He bowled a full ball outside the corridor of uncertainty and, importantly, got it to swing late.
Rohit tamely hung his bat outside off stump and got a thick edge. The ball flew to Southee’ right, who judged the catch perfectly, diving low to his right, and getting both hands on the ball.
Until his dismissal, Rohit batted with precision, hitting six fours in his knock. He was eventually dismissed for 34 off 68 balls. Gill too perished soon after, caught behind off left-arm seamer Neil Wagner for 28. The youngster hit three fours in his knock but, like Rohit, could not convert his start into a big score. India went to lunch at 69 for 2.
Even when they were not getting any wickets, New Zealand did now allow the Indian batsmen to get away, and kept bowling tight overs. Four of Jamieson’s first seven overs were maidens.
New Zealand asked India to bat after winning toss in WTC final
Earlier, the WTC final got underway on Day 2, with New Zealand captain Kane Williamson winning the toss and asked India to bat under challenging conditions. Speaking after calling correctly, Williamson stated:
“We’ll bowl first. Conditions, with the weather around, hopefully we can make the most of it. Saying that, wicket will be consistent throughout the game going by the cool weather.”
Indian captain Virat Kohli also conceded that India would have batted first had they won the toss, but added that they would look to put a good first innings total on the board.
India did not make any changes to the WTC final playing XI announced earlier despite the conditions, which are expected to suit swing and seam. New Zealand picked four seamers and Colin de Grandhomme as the all-round option ahead of left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel.
Playing XIs for WTC final
India: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (w), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
New Zealand: Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (w), Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult
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