When Virat Kohli walked out after the fall of Rohit Sharma’s wicket on Day 5 of the World Test Championship (WTC) final, it was clear that India are gunning for a win. Although a drawn match is being viewed as the most likely outcome, the Indian team is not afraid to have a crack at the final.
The odds are pretty evenly balanced at the moment in the WTC final. Placed at 64 for 2 on a pitch that still has a generous amount of swing and bounce on offer, India has their work cut out. A slender lead of 32 runs means Kohli will be keen to capitalize on the start they have made in their second innings.
India will need to blend caution with aggression if they intend to win the inaugural ICC WTC final. That would mean one of Kohli or Pant will have to be the aggressor and go hammer and tongs at the Kiwi bowlers while Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane could drop anchor.
WTC Final: What is be the ideal target for India to defend?
As far as predictions go, India may look to notch up a score close to 250 and put pressure on New Zealand. With Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma able to get the ball moving both ways, as seen in the first innings, a couple of early Kiwi wickets in will put India on top.
This still doesn’t guarantee a win as a draw will be the most likely outcome due to the shortage of overs. With the weather on the reserve day predicted to be sunny and conducive to batting, chances are India may look to bat longer and force the draw.
The WTC final story so far
Day 5 belonged to India after a Mohammed Shami masterclass brought them back to the game. His 4/76 was a classic example of hitting the deck hard and moving the ball enough to unsettle the batsmen.
Sharma was not far behind as he scalped three wickets to compliment Shami. Jasprit Bumrah had a forgettable outing and should India bowl again, he will be keen to make amends. India are 32 runs ahead after bundling out the Kiwis for 249.
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