India are set to lock horns with New Zealand in the maiden World Test Championship final. The high-voltage WTC Final 2021 will be played at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton from June 18-22. The build-up to the ultimate showdown between Virat Kohli's men and the Kane Williamson-led side, who finished first and second on the WTC points table respectively, has been immense, which is why fans are stoked to witness the thrilling battle between the two sides. And it is safe to say after reading this, Kane Williamson will be a lot more relaxed as New Zealand were cruelly denied a World Cup victory in the 2019 final at Lord's, despite match officially being a tie.
On Friday, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the WTC Final playing conditions. According to the media release by the ICC, if the WTC Final 2021 ends in a draw or a tie, both India and New Zealand will be crowned as joint winners. A Reserve Day (June 23) has been set to ensure five full days of play. The Reserve Day will only be used if lost playing time cannot be recovered through the normal provisions of making up lost time each day.
However, there will be no additional day’s play if a positive result is not achieved after five full days of play and the match will be declared a draw in such a scenario. In the event of time being lost during the match, the ICC Match Referee will regularly update the teams and media about the way in which the Reserve Day may be used. The final decision on whether the Reserve Day needs to be used will be announced at the scheduled start of the last hour on the fifth day. Notably, the match will be played using Grade 1 Dukes cricket balls.
The final will also see the implementation of the following changes to international playing conditions that came into effect with the ongoing ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League series between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka:
Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (Vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (Wicketkeeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul (subject to fitness clearance), Wriddhiman Saha.