New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson mentioned that India had a fair shot of winning the World Test Championship Final in Southampton and despite Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara’s early wickets, all three results were possible.
New Zealand defeated India in the WTC Final in Southampton’s Ageas Bowl on Tuesday by eight wickets. Williamson scored an unbeaten half-century to guide his team to a historic win. This victory ended New Zealand’s 20-year wait to win an ICC tournament.
Speaking to India Today, Williamson said the pitch was good for bowling even on the sixth day.
“For us it was very much going in the day, expecting every result was realistic and trying to do as well as we could. Nothing different from the last few days and see how games unfurl and opportunity arises. It was great to take early wickets on that, that set up more chances of result on that day. India team counter-attacked after that, India had a fair shot too. Surface was offering to bowlers. It was intense for us,” Williamson told India Today.
WTC Final was badly interrupted by bad weather. Two complete days were washed out due to persistent rain in Southampton. However, New Zealand used the condition well and always kept India in check with their game plan.
New Zealand gained a vital 32-run lead at the halfway mark in the game. Kiwi pacers led by Tim Southee gave India early jolts in their second innings and sent Shubhman Gill and Rohit Sharma back before the end of the fifth day. Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara were overnight batsmen and were expected to rescue India from a tricky position on day six.
However, both batsmen fell in quick succession at the start of the sixth day and the rest of the Indian batting lineup couldn’t pose any challenge in front of a fired-up Kiwi bowling lineup. India’s innings got bundled out for 170 runs leaving New Zealand to chase 139 runs in the remaining time. Ross Taylor partnered with Kane Williamson to take New Zealand home after both openers got out to Ravichandran Ashwin.
This defeat meant India went empty-handed yet another time in an ICC tournament despite playing good cricket during the league phase.