WTC Final: Kohli eyes legacy, Williamson prize for consistency in battle of equals
Teams from India Virat Kohli captain, Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane vc, Rishabh Pant wk, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha wk.New Zealand Kane Williamson C, 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 and Will Young.On-field Umpires Richard Illngworth, Michael Gough Match Referee Chris Broad Match Starts 330 pm IST.
- United Kingdom
Virat Kohli carries the expectations of a billion while cricket romantics will pin their hopes on Kane Williamson when India and New Zealand engage in a battle to create a lasting legacy in pristine whites in the inaugural World Test Championship final starting here on Friday.
For the connoisseurs of the glorious game, Test cricket is the ultimate format and despite its aura, the 144-year-old history needed a facelift along with a context which the World Test Championship provided despite various bottlenecks, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
For Kohli, India's most successful Test captain, a trophy-less cabinet doesn't do justice to the champion performer that he has been for a decade.
Lest one forgets, he has been a fine leader in his own right even though Mahendra Singh Dhoni may forever remain a sentimental favourite.
Kohli needs a global triumph. Every captain needs it but perhaps the Indian captain wants it more.
It's how history will remember him just like it remembers Dhoni with a lot of respect and utmost fondness for those heroic World title wins.
Williamson stands in his way with a bunch of fine cricketers and the most amiable set of players that one would come across in international cricket.
They are India's rivals but when Williamson hits those cover drives, Devon Conway teases a Ravichandran Ashwin or Ravindra Jadeja, Trent Boult gets one banana inswinger aimed at Rohit Sharma's bootlaces, the crazy fans of a cricket-mad nation wouldn't possibly be able to hate them.
These are 'Gentlemen Cricketers' who have grown on the fans bit by bit with their cricket and their conduct. It's difficult not to love them, especially after their gut-wrenching World Cup defeat at the Lord's two summers back.
But after two years and half a dozen series later, a battle-hardened Indian team will give its all in a match, from which the winning team will also walk away with a USD 1.6 million windfall.
There are a number of cricketers, who wouldn't practically have a shot at any other global trophy and for them it's their 'World Cup' which they want to lay their hands on.
Cheteshwar Pujara would be ready to take more bruises on his body if Neil Wagner starts bowling short. Ajinkya Rahane has grown in stature after a series for the ages and he will squeeze that extra ounce of energy to make it count.
Man to man, there is very little to choose between the two teams even though playing New Zealand in conditions that aid seam and swing isn't the easiest of tasks.
If that's not enough, Wagner will pound it in with stuff aimed at rib-cage enticing the batters to go for the hook and pull shots or take it on the body.
Pant's self control and Wagner's relentless probe will make for a great contest.
This match could be one for the keeps unless pacers from either sides engineer an anti-climax. Teams (from): India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (wk).
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (C), 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 and Will Young.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)