The final match of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship 2021 will take place on June 18 between India and New Zealand. Here’s all you need to know about the upcoming historic battle.
The ICC World Test Championship, which featured nine of the 12 Test-playing nations in its inaugural season, kicked off on August 1, 2019, with the Ashes Test between England and Australia at Edgbaston, Birmingham.
The event had a tough struggle for the top two slots over a two-year period, with revisions to the points system during the COVID-19 pandemic also influencing the competition’s top two teams.
ICC World Test Championship Final 2021 Venue and Timing
The final of the World Test Championship between India and New Zealand was originally scheduled to take place at Lord’s Cricket Ground. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has moved the final to the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton, where it will be played between June 18 and 22 owing to COVID-19 concerns and logistical challenges.
— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) June 14, 2021
How to watch Cricket Live Streaming ICC World Test Championship Final 2021?
In India, the WTC final match could be seen live on the Star Sports Network and Hotstar. Whereas, Sky Sports will broadcast the match in New Zealand. In Bangladesh, Gazi TV will show the match live, while RTA Sport will do so in Afghanistan. Etisalat – CricLife will broadcast the game in UAE. Further, Willow holds the broadcasting rights for the USA market.
To rise to the occasion is a trait of 𝐂𝐇𝐀𝐌𝐏𝐈𝐎𝐍𝐒 👑
June 18-22 | 2 PM onwards | Star Sports Network & Disney+Hotstar VIP pic.twitter.com/MBjZ0tZOVE
— Star Sports (@StarSportsIndia) June 15, 2021
Rules for the World Test Championship Final
Here are the rules applicable for the ICC World Test Championship Final:
- Result: India, New Zealand to share the title in case of draw or tie.
- Balls to be used: The match will be played using Grade 1 Dukes cricket balls.
- Short Runs: The Third Umpire will automatically review calls of a ‘short run’ by the On-field Umpire and communicate the decision to the On-field Umpire before the next ball is delivered.
- Player Reviews: The fielding captain or the dismissed batsman may confirm with the Umpire whether a genuine attempt has been made to play the ball before deciding whether to initiate a player review for LBW.
- DRS Reviews: For LBW reviews, the height margin of the Wicket Zone has been lifted to the top of the stumps to ensure the same Umpire’s Call margin around the stumps for both height and width.
- Rain: ICC has declared a reserve day on June 23 to compensate for the lost overs for the final.
Who will win the ICC World Test Championship?
ICYMI – A look at #TeamIndia's squad for the inaugural ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final and the five-match Test series against England. 👇
Standby players: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla pic.twitter.com/17J050QVT3
— BCCI (@BCCI) May 7, 2021
While India will return to the longest format of the sport after an almost three-month gap, New Zealand has just defeated England in a two-match Test series. Many have questioned if this will give the Kiwis an advantage over India in the World Cup final. However, India skipper Virat Kohli believes that both sides will start on equal footing in the final. What will happen eventually is still a tale that time will tell.
World Test Championship Points Table
|Team||Series Played||Matches Won||Lost||Drawn||Win Percentage||Points|
World Test Championship 2021 Winner Prize Money
The winner of the much-anticipated competition will get a cash reward of $1.6 million, while the runners-up will receive $800,000. The prize money will be divided between the two finalists if there is a tie. Additionally, the champions will receive gold medals along with a World Cup-themed trophy. Rumors have it that the silverware might resemble the Test Mace.
2021 World Test Championship India vs New Zealand Players to Watch
Every ICC event in the past has seen some brilliant sportsmanship and athleticism as well as match-winning performances from young players. The inaugural WTC Final is also expected to see some of the best performances by white-shirt players. Let us check the top three players from each side who can steal the show.
Rishabh Pant: The powerful Indian wicketkeeper-batsman has been one of the most highly-rated players in international cricket. Pant’s unconventional batsmanship and his reputation for playing with the opposition’s mind in every scenario may undoubtedly be the X-factor that India needs against a tough New Zealand attack. Interestingly, Pant had scored a century during his maiden England tour. And he loves playing speedsters on pace-friendly pitches, a combination that England’s condition will definitely provide him with.
Jasprit Bumrah: Speaking of the pace attack, let’s shift our focus to Jasprit Bumrah, the world’s number one bowler. Bumrah, along with Mohammed Shami, can wreak havoc on any batting order across the globe. It’s difficult for a batsman to deal with his unusual motion and ability to make the ball skid off the surface. Regardless of the conditions, Bumrah has been India’s go-to bowler over the recent years. In England, he has played three Tests and has picked up 14 wickets, including a five-wicket haul at Nottingham.
Virat Kohli: This one is a no-brainer. When there’s Virat Kohli in the squad, you have to put him in the list of players to watch out for. Although King Kohli hasn’t scored a century since 2019, fans will expect him to perform at his best during the final. In England, Kohli has played 10 Tests in England and has scored 727 runs at an average of 36.35.
Kane Willamson: Despite returning from an elbow injury, the world’s top-ranked Test batsman will be just as deadly as ever. With two double centuries in the summer of 2020-21, Williamson has been in outstanding form in the longest version of the game. To establish his dominance, he scored three hundreds in four innings. However, his record in England isn’t that good. Williamson averages just 26.10 in five Tests in the UK. The Kiwi skipper has just 261 runs under his belt, including a century at Lord’s.
Trent Boult: When the game is happening in England, how can we keep Trent Boult out of the equation? Boult enjoys bowling in England. He has 27 wickets to his name in five Tests, including two five-wicket hauls. His bowling average in England is just 22.40. The paceman showed his class in the recently concluded second Test against England, bowling superbly to help his team win the series. With his usual left-arm inswingers putting uncertainty in the minds of right-handed batsmen, the Indian side will have to treat the bowler with extreme caution.
Ross Taylor: Taylor, one of the most seasoned players of the New Zealand side, is the backbone of the Kiwi batting side’s middle-order. He will play a vital role in the final because of his ability to alter gears against spin as well as pace. The 37-year old batsman averages over 40 in England after playing nine Tests and scoring 650 runs including an unbeaten knock of 154 that came in Manchester in 2008.
New Zealand vs India Possible lineups
Here are the possible lineups for each of the teams:
Rohit Sharma, Shubhman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Mohammad Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah
Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (wk), Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult
Are fans allowed in the ground for the WTC Final?
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the International Cricket Council have permitted up to 4000 spectators to be present on the stands on each day of the World Test Championship Final in Southampton. It resembles about 25% of the ground’s total capacity.
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