WTC Final: Reason why team India players are wearing black armbands
New Zealand won the toss and opted to bowl first.
Updated - Jun 19, 2021 3:11 pm
The much awaited World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and New Zealand finally got underway on Saturday. New Zealand won the toss and opted to bowl first as they didn’t name any spinner in their line-up looking at the overcast conditions in Southampton. The opening day of the Test was washed out due to rain but with reserve day in place, all the efforts will be made to eke the result out of this game.
Meanwhile, as the Indian players walked out for the national anthem, they were seen wearing black armbands. The reason for the same is the demise of the legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh, aged 91. He passed away late on Friday night due to COVID-19 complications and the Indian team is paying respect to him for what he achieved for his country over the years.
The cricketing fraternity also earlier paid condolences to Milkha Singh’s family on Saturday morning after they got to know about the unfortunate news.
India make no changes to the XI announced
Meanwhile, India didn’t make any changes to their playing XI announced a couple of days ago. Many thought they might look to include either an extra batsman or a seamer at the expense of one of the spinners. But the skipper Virat Kohli clarified at the toss that the thought didn’t even cross his mind as the team has done well over the years irrespective of the conditions.
“We would’ve probably bowled first as well. But runs on the board has been our strength. In a big final, runs on the board, however many, are an advantage. As you saw the makeup of our side, the balance is such that we prepare for any conditions. We’ve been performing really well in Test cricket. For us this is just a Test match we have to be professional in, have to follow our processes,” Kohli said.
Interestingly, this is the first time, India’s bowling attack playing in the WTC Final – Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja – are playing together for the first time.