WORLD TEST CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL
India v New Zealand
Day 1, 2 & 3
Three days gone. Three days to go.
India faltered in their batting and toiled in their bowling on Day 3.
Their famed batting fell short of their own 250-run first innings target as they were all out for 217.
Their wrecker in chief was Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate, the 6 feet 8 Kyle Jamieson, who scalped 5 for 31 runs in his eight Test.
Fielding, India's pace bowlers did everything good except take a wicket until spinner Ravichandran Ashwin stepped in and broke the opening partnership.
New Zealand did well ending the day at 101 for 2.
After an initial delay, play started on Day 3 with the scalp of India skipper Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant in quick succession.
The Team India captain had, on Day 2, got into the elite club as the sixth Indian Test batsmen to have aggregated 7,500 career runs.
He also eclipsed his predecessor, M S Dhoni's record of captaining India in 60 Tests. This WTC Final is Kohli's 61st as captain.
Kohli was unfortunate to have been given out to an "umpire's call" decision, one which saved Pant.
However, the southpaw, aggressive wicketkeeper batsman perished flashing at a delivery from the 6 feet 8 Kylie Jamieson to a slip catch.
As a result, India lost four wickets by lunch for an addition of 65 runs from their overnight score of 146 for 3. At lunch, they were 211 for 7.
Earlier, an abundance of thrill and excitement was expected from the inaugural WTC final at the Hampshire Bowl.
At the start of the third day's play, the probability of a draw has increased to more than 65%. A dampener.
You may choose to disagree and even bet on a constructive result on Betway.
Only 64.4 overs bowled from a two-day target of 180. A major part washed out.
Questions from experts and former Test greats are hovering over the way the incorrect manner in which the umpires are checking the visibility parameter.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, now commentator, was shocked at umpires placing the light metre on top of the stumps.
"If I were playing, I would have agreed with that method," Gavaskar mocked.
Usually, the umpires hold the light metre against the sight screen. This helps them ascertain whether a batsman will be able to spot the leather ball released at up to 145mph.
Elsewhere, fans hungrier after the Indian Premier League was abandoned midway, are questioning the selection of England as a venue for this prestigious event.
"This is the the inaugural World Test Championship in the 144 year history of Test cricket. Why would the ICC (International Cricket Council) choose a venue in England at this time when they know there'll be rains?," asked one die-hard fan from Mumbai.
Other fans have shared memes on Twitter to show their ire and frustration.
The ICC has apparently chosen the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton (initially Lord's) not because players get to wear jumpers, fans at the stadium get to drink beer, or England is the home of cricket.
The Hampshire Bowl was picked for these reasons:
1. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) assured the ICC that the WTC Final could be hosted safely in a bio-secure bubble.
2. The ECB's success at organizing a summer of bio-safe international cricket in 2020 convinced the ICC.
3. The venue offers playing and training facilities that are world-class. This is helpful for the competing teams to practice and prepare for the big event.
4. The Hampshire Bowl has on-site accommodation for the teams, their staff, broadcasters and their staff. This arrangement ensures the risk of COVID-19 transmission is curtailed.
5. England is the most ideal neutral location for hosting a Test match of this level.