Ravichandran Ashwin has expressed that he, personally, would have wanted the WTC Final rules to be such that the match will only come to a conclusion when one of the two sides manage to achieve an outright result. As per the rules, however, IND and NZ will share the trophy in case of a draw.
India took a substantial 32-run second innings lead on Day five of the inaugural WTC final in Southampton on Tuesday with eight wickets in their hands after they scored 64/2, losing both the openers at the end of the day.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has already booked a reserve day for this marquee event, but the grey clouds in the UK have threatened to render the extra day ineffective, thanks to Day 1 and Day 4 being completely wiped out by rain. The match is expected to see 98 overs of play on the reserve day but, looking at the scorecard, a draw looks inevitable.
Many, including Aakash Chopra, have suggested the idea of playing the full 450 overs even if it requires an extra day, and India’s bowling all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin has echoed the same sentiments.
“It would be nice if the game kept extending and we played to a finish but I don’t think there is scope for that,” Ashwin told BBC Radio’s Test Match Special.
“There is a prize up for grabs, but nobody can control the weather,” he added.
Mohammed Shami bagged four wickets on day five to restrict New Zealand, who took a minuscule lead of 32 runs, to 249. Ashwin also chipped in with two wickets in the innings, one of which was the important wicket of opener Tom Latham that broke a mavericking 70-run opening stand.
A draw looks likely, but Ashwin felt India needed to add more runs to their overnight lead of 32 in order to set up a good finish.
“The game is pretty well poised but with some more time it would be better. If we can get the runs going we’re set up for a good finish,” Ashwin said.