The much-anticipated World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and New Zealand was scheduled to begin today. However, owing to rain, the big game is yet to get underway.
The first session of play in the WTC final has been completely washed out. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirmed the same through a social media post. BCCI tweeted:
“Unfortunately there will be no play in the first session on Day 1 of the ICC World Test Championship final. #WTC21.”
The toss for the WTC final has also been delayed due to the weather conditions. It could have been held after lunch had the conditions improved. But, as there is still no update for the start of the play, the toss too hasn’t been held till now.
The weather prediction for the rest of the day is also not good as more rain is expected. As such, there are serious concerns that the first day of the WTC final could be completely washed out.
Meanwhile, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar feels that India might alter their playing XI just before the toss (whenever it happens) in the WTC final. Gavaskar, who is part of the commentary panel in Southampton, opined that the overcast conditions will suit pacers. Hence India can bring in an extra batsman.
India included both spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, in the playing XI for the WTC final, which was announced yesterday. However, Gavaskar told Aaj Tak:
“Because these conditions are suitable for New Zealand fast bowlers, so Rishabh Pant is at six, he might shift to seven and an extra batsman might play. Seeing this weather, one spinner might be dropped.”
What is the weather prediction for the next four days of the WTC final?
There is not much great news on the weather front for the upcoming days of the WTC final. However, the prediction is slightly better for Day 2. While a couple of rainy spells are expected in the afternoon, the sun is likely to shine for the rest of the day .
Rain is likely to have a major impact again on Day 3 of the WTC final, with a cloudy day and intermittent spells of rain predicted. More rain has been forecast for Day 4, with a heavy cloud cover of 95%.
The predictions for Day 5 of the WTC final are better, but only just. It will be “breezy in the morning” and “mostly cloudy with a couple of showers” during the day, with a cloud cover of 76%.
ICC also has a Reserve Day for the WTC final. Ironically, no rain has been predicted on that day (June 23) and the sun is expected to be out.
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