The second day of the World Test Championship (WTC) Final between India and New Zealand witnessed attritional day’s cricket. After being put in to bat first, India’s openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill did well to not lose their wicket in the first hour and added 62 runs. They then lost three wickets in a space of 26 runs to be reduced to 88/3 and at this point, India were in a spot of bother.
However, two of the best batsmen in the team, captain and vice-captain, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane batted well since then to stitch an unbeaten 58-run partnership. They survived some close calls and exceptional New Zealand bowling to hang in the middle. This has impressed the former England cricketer Michael Vaughan who reckons conditions are extremely tough to bat on in Southampton.
Taking to Twitter to express himself, Vaughan felt that a score around 225 runs will be par in the first innings and as of now, are looking well on course to a total of around 250. He lauded India for keeping their wicket intact in tough conditions to bat.
Here’s the tweet:
225 looks around par to me in Southampton … India have done very very well so far in these conditions not to have lost a lot more … #worldtestchampionshipfinal … Anyway it’s time for a G & T up north … #OnOn #INDvsNZ
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) June 19, 2021
New Zealand play an all pace attack
Meanwhile, New Zealand going in with an all-pace attack has turned many heads. Looking at the overcast conditions on offer, they preferred Colin de Grandhomme’s seam bowling over the left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel. Former Australia cricketer Shane Warne criticised them for the same earlier in the day as he felt that the spinners will come into play given that the rough is already getting created on the pitch.
Interestingly, in the series against England, the Kiwis had played Mitchell Santner (at Lord’s) and Ajaz (at Edbgaston) and dominated both the Test match with even winning the second one to win the series. England was the team in that series to not play any spinner and struggle.