The ICC World Test Championship final has been an entertaining affair. Although eventually it was New Zealand who had the last laugh beating India in the summit clash by 8 wickets, both the teams had their moments in the match. Like every other match, this contest too had its own stars be it Virat Kohli who top-scored in the Indian first innings or Kyle Jamieson who performed well in both the innings with the ball.
Similarly, Rishabh Pant also made a good contribution with the bat in the second innings, while Tim Southee was the pick of the bowlers for Kiwis in the second innings. Devon Conway along with Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor also played crucial knocks in the match. How good was Mohammed Shami in the first innings? We all know this.
However, some of the other significant contributions have perhaps not received the same amount of credit or attention throughout the match. And here is an attempt to present to you 3 such unsung heroes of the WTC final who did their bit, which resulted in the high-intensity match.
1. Rohit Sharma
The Hitman comes on top of this list. Although Rohit didn’t top score in either innings or scored a big hundred, he ensured that he played out the new ball and did not expose the middle order to a brand new red cherry. While he along with Shubman Gill batted over 20 overs in the first innings, he did some damage control in the second after his opening partner departed early. Overall, Rohit batted for almost 25 overs (149 deliveries) which is a huge number, given the close nature of the match. Not to forget his catch at the slips of Henry Nicholls in the first innings. Unfortunately, though, he couldn’t quite convert it into a big score and hence didn’t receive as much credit.
2. R Ashwin
For all the talk about India’s pace attack, it was R Ashwin who brought India enormous joy when he picked the two wickets in the final innings of the Test, giving the country some hope that India will make a match out of this. Even in the first innings, Ashwin had chipped in with a couple of wickets also making some useful runs with the bat. On the contrary, Jasprit Bumrah looked a pale shadow of himself in English conditions and couldn’t even open his account either with the bat or with the ball.
3. Trent Boult
Although it might have been the duo of Kyle Jamieson and Tim Southee who picked 12 of the 20 wickets between them in the two innings, overall the Kiwi attack went out to hunt as a group and Trent Boult also played his role. While he contributed two wickets in the first innings, he returned to pick three in the second to finish with five in the end. It was indeed a collective effort and the better team deserved to win the match. Throughout the match, there was only one side that looked the better team and it was the Blackcaps, who won only their second ICC trophy and their first since ICC 2000 knockouts.