WTC Final: India vs New Zealand – Day 6: 3 Talking Points

WTC Final: India vs New Zealand – Day 6: 3 Talking Points

New Zealand scripted the ultimate fairy tale story by winning the maiden ICC World Test Championship.

Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor
Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

It is safe to say that the heartbreak of 2015 and 2019 got settled finally for New Zealand. In what was one of the best days to watch Test cricket in Southampton, Kane Williamson and his team ended on the victorious side. The day started with India having 32 runs of lead with eight wickets in hand. But, an inspired bowling performance from New Zealand bowled them out for just 170. 

With 139 set as the target, the blackcaps knew they had enough time to get over the line. And they did. Ravichandran Ashwin picked up both the openers to give some hope to the Indian crowd in the stands. But it was Ross Taylor with his skipper, who ended up guiding their team to an eight-wicket win in the end and claimed the ICC World Test Championship final. 

Here are the talking points of the final day:

1. New Zealand’s bowling and Williamson’s captaincy

At the start of the day’s play, everyone knew that New Zealand was in the game but they needed one good bowling effort. And it came. The variation which was seen was quite fantastic. The conditions were good for batting, yet the Blackcaps attack made things happen. Kyle Jamieson got the big fishes. Neil Wagner kept his nagging line. Trent Boult swung the match in an over. And Tim Southee added to his tally of two with another two scalps to close out the Indian innings.

The captain, Kane Williamson set tremendous fields through the day. There was a flying slip and there were some weird leg-side field placements which some would call not traditional in Test cricket, but it needed an attacking brand of play to break open this Test match. New Zealand did exactly that with some brilliant captaincy and a world-class attack.

2. Rishabh Pant’s dismissal

The left-handed wicketkeeper-batsman batted excellently well today. It was his unorthodox batting that did put the New Zealand attack out of their rhythm for a while. While he was out there in the middle, India did hope to get a good second innings total. However, with 58 overs left in the day still, Trent Boult came to the attack.

Pant, who lives by the sword and dies by the sword, charged him and threw the kitchen sink at it. Had he survived for another 10 overs, added 20 or 30 runs, and then went for a wild hoick, maybe India would have been better served. The fact that Ravichandran Ashwin fell in the very same over didn’t help India’s cause. Time and time again, Pant’s shot selection comes under scrutiny, but this time even the youngster will take note of it.

3. Williamson-Ross Taylor partnership

At 44 for 2, New Zealand weren’t in trouble yet. However, they did put themselves under some pressure. With Ashwin not allowing anything to go away, the Blackcaps needed a partnership to weather the storm. The two most experienced batters came together to not just weather the storm but also take their country to a historic win. Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni did it in 2011 and Aravinda de Silva and Arjuna Ranatunga did it together in 1996. 2021’s moment had Taylor and Williamson written all over them and their 96-run partnership was the highlight of the day.