We are moving closer to the grand finale of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship (2019-21 cycle). With captain Virat Kohli looking to lead his side to their first-ever ICC trophy under his captaincy, the stakes are quite high and Team India are looking to leave no stones unturned to claim the ultimate glory. From training sessions to various fun activities of the players, we will bring you all the latest updates from Southampton in the build-up to the final showdown which is set to begin from June 18 onwards. Welcome to the live blog of WTC Final.
3:50 PM IST: I like watching Rohit Sharma bat, he’s a tremendous player- Southee
New Zealand pacer Tim Southee lavished rich praise on India’s dynamic batting line-up ahead of the World Test Championship final taking place in Southampton. Southee reckoned that India opener Rohit Sharma is a tremendous player across formats and has the ability to take the game away from the opposition. “Rohit Sharma’s a tremendous player in all three formats and personally a guy I like watching bat,” said Southee.
2:30 PM IST: WTC final will be biggest match of my life- Shubman Gill
Indian opener Shubman Gill admitted that the WTC final against New Zealand will be the biggest match of his career. The 21-year-old also highlighted the importance of intent and said that his priority is to keep the run-scoring intent flowing and not feel the pressure of expectations. “World Test Championship Final, it will be the biggest match of my life so far,” Gill said.
1:25 PM IST: Check out WTC Final squads of both the teams:
Indian Squad for WTC Final: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha.
New Zealand Squad for WTC Final: Williamson, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Will Young.
12:45 PM IST: D-Day is knocking on our doors!
The much-awaited ICC World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton is all set to commence on Friday. The fact that these two teams also happen to be the number 1 and number 2 ranked teams in the world is a testimony to their success over the two-year cycle and now both teams stand just one step away from glory. Who are you backing to win the all-important Test?
12:05 PM IST: Ishant, Shami, Bumrah, Siraj and Ashwin in line to start
According to The Telegraph, as of now, the pace quartet of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Siraj and Ravi Ashwin look likely to take the field in the WTC Final against NZ.
11:50 AM IST: Hello everyone!
With just 1 day remaining for the ICC World Test Championship Final, we look forward to bringing you all the updates from India’s camp at Southampton!
9:05 PM IST: See you tomorrow!
That’s a wrap from all of us here tonight. With the Indian players starting to see some action on the field, we can expect a busy day tomorrow. Do join us for all the latest happenings around the WTC Final. Until then, goodbye!
9:00 PM IST: India will have an advantage if conditions remain bright: Holding
Former West Indies cricketer Michael Holding believes that Ravichandran Ashwin is going be key for India in WTC Final as he admitted that the pitch at Ageas Bowl does offer some assistance for the spinners. Speaking about probable advantage for India, he said, “Obviously, conditions will play a role. But the bowling attack India have, it will help them even if conditions remain bright. And if it’s sunny throughout, they can even afford to play two spinners. They have that advantage.”
7:25 PM IST: Lack of match practice may hurt India, opines Vengsarkar
Former Indian cricketer and selector Dilip Vengsarkar hailed Kohli and Rohit as world-class players ahead of the WTC Final. However, he added that lack of match practice might hurt India in the finale. Reflecting on the same, he said, “Well, he (Kohli) has been around for a long time. He (Kohli) is one of the best batsmen in world cricket at the moment. Players like Virat or Rohit Sharma, they are world-class players, they take a lot of pride in their performance and pride in winning matches for India. It is a good thing and both are in very good form. But having said that, I think lack of match practice may hurt them in the first Test match.”
2:50 PM IST: Mohammed Siraj is absolutely pumped up
The Indian pacer posted a picture of his practice session in Southampton and looked quite delighted. He added a caption, “A cherry in my hand, put a smile on my face.. #wtcfinal #miyamagic”
— CricketMAN2 (@man4_cricket) June 6, 2021
1:35 PM IST: Ravindra Jadeja starts practicing for WTC final at Southampton
With Team India’s 3-day quarantine coming to an end, the players are set to start practicing from today onwards. Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja shared the first picture from his training at Southampton, where he can be seen practicing his spin. “First outing in Southampton #feelthevibe #india” he tweeted.
— Ravindrasinh jadeja (@imjadeja) June 6, 2021
12:20 PM IST: ‘India will start as favourites at WTC final’ – VVS Laxman
Former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman feels that India will start off as favourites in the upcoming World Test Championship final, especially because the way India has played over a period of time. “They have embraced the challenges and have overcome whatever obstacles they faced – as recently as the Australia series – and there’s a lot of talent and depth in this Indian line-up,” Laxman expressed.
11:00 AM IST: Good Morning! Welcome back
Team India has finally completed their 3-day soft quarantine, and will be seen training on the ground from today onwards. We assure to bring you all the action from Team India’s camp at Southampton and look forward to an exciting day ahead!
10:00 PM IST: See you tomorrow!
With the quarantine coming to an end, it is going to be an extremely action-packed tomorrow. Good Night!
9:35 PM IST: 3-day quarantine comes to an end
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 5, 2021
9:30 PM IST: Virat Kohli on photography duties
Another talent of Virat Kohli has been revealed to everyone on Saturday ahead of the WTC Final. Anushka Sharma shared a photo of herself standing in the hotel room balcony with a mesmerizing view of Ageas Bowl in the background. The behind-the-scenes story was revealed by women’s cricketer Harleen Deol who saw the action live from her balcony.
4:20 PM IST: Cheteshwar Pujara starts his training
— The sports 360 (@Thesports3601) June 5, 2021
3:30 PM IST: Mohammad Shami is the best bowler for Indian Test line-up for WTC final – Ajit Agarkar
Former Indian cricketer Ajit Agarkar has named Mohammad Shami as his top pick for the WTC final. He further went on to say that India’s formidable bowling attack has been the strength of the Indian team over the last few years
2:05 PM IST: Brett Lee picks New Zealand as favourites to win WTC final
Former Australian cricketer picked Kane Williamson’s New Zealand as his favourites for the WTC final. He feels that though India and New Zealand are both evenly balanced sides, the Blackcaps have an edge.
“The Indian Test line-up that will be on show, they have got some amazing talent, as do the Kiwis. It is pretty evenly matched there, though with the experience of New Zealand, because they have bowled in conditions that are similar back home, the Kiwis might have an advantage purely from that fact,” the Australian expressed.
12:52 PM IST: Indian players can’t meet each other during 3-day quarantine
As per protocols, the players are not allowed to meet each other during the Southampton quarantine. Earlier, BCCI negotiated for 3-day soft quarantine for the Indian team, instead of the 10-day hard quarantine. The ECB has relaxed the protocols and the players can start practicing from fourth day onwards.
11:00 AM IST: Commentators for WTC final- Sunil Gavaskar and Dinesh Karthik arrived in UK last night
Indian commentator Sunil Gavaskar and commentary debutant Dinesh Karthik have arrived in UK for the WTC final. The former Indian captain took to Instagram to wish Dinesh Karthik ‘Good Luck’ ahead of his commentary debut at the World Test Championship Final. Gavaskar shared a picture with Karthik and wrote “He made his India Test debut when I was a consultant to the Indian cricket team. Now he will make his commentary debut with the WTC finals. I’m sure he will do well in the box too. Good luck @dk00019 !”
Commentetar🎙🎙 For The Wtc Final, Sunil Gavaskar And Dinesh Kartik Pose For The Picture🖼🖼UK. pic.twitter.com/cDr63C3xEB
— 💛 ℂ𝕤𝕜 𝔽𝕒𝕟 ℂ𝕝𝕦𝕓 💙 (🅜🅢🅓🅘🅐🅝) (@Csk_Fan_Club_7) June 5, 2021
10:30 AM IST: Welcome back to where we left yesterday
With Team India spending another day in quarantine, we look forward to delivering you all the updates from India’s camp at Southampton!
10:05 PM IST: See you tomorrow!
With so much to look forward to as players spend another day in quarantine, stay tuned with us as we bring to you all the latest updates from Team India’s stay in Southampton. Good Night!
9:45 PM IST: Hello Southampton: Jasprit Bumrah
The Indian fast-bowler is certainly enjoying the quarantine at Ageas Bowl along with his wife and sports presenter Sanjana Ganesan. This is the first international tour of Bumrah since his wedding on March 15. There is no doubt that the 27-year-old will have to be at his absolute best if India have to defeat the Kiwis in the ultimate showdown.
Hello Southampton! 🏏 pic.twitter.com/qSATFLZ3b0
— Jasprit Bumrah (@Jaspritbumrah93) June 3, 2021
8:00 PM IST: Rohit and Pant – Neighbours in Southampton
Two of the most explosive players in the Indian side have been given rooms side-by-side. Considering the fun-loving nature of both Rohit and Pant, the duo is certainly going to entertain the fans both on and off the field during this tour.
— Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) June 3, 2021
6:20 PM IST: Interesting details from Team India’s travel
After BCCI released a video of the journey of Indian team from Mumbai to Southampton, a very curious story was revealed when one of the cricketers revealed that Rohit Sharma did not let him sleep during the travel. “Rohit bhaiya ne aake utha diya, uske baad neend nahi aayi,” the pacer revealed. Who do you think was at the receiving end?
4:30 PM IST: Virat Kohli is loving Ageas Bowl
Team India skipper Virat Kohli is absolutely enjoying the view from his hotel room’s balcony at Ageas Bowl in Southampton. The 32-year-old, who is currently undergoing mandatory quarantine, posted a story on Instagram where he looked quite happy at the venue of WTC Final. With the stadium in the background, he also added a “smiling face with heart-eyes” emoji expressing his delight.
Virat Kohli at Southampton, doing the quarantine ahead of the WTC final. pic.twitter.com/LL2iEleoov
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) June 4, 2021
4:15 PM IST: Team India’s historic travel from Mumbai to UK
🇮🇳 ✈️ 🏴
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 4, 2021