WTC Final: Virat Kohli explains why India stuck to their Playing XI vs New Zealand despite rain in Southampton
- WTC Final: There were talks that India may re-consider their line-up given the incessant amount of rain in Southampton, but it wasn't to be, and India captain Virat Kohli explained the reason behind it.
After the opening day was washed out, the World Test Championship is finally underway at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton. New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and decided to field against India. They included five fast bowlers, whereas India stuck to their Playing XI which was announced on Thursday.
There were talks that India may re-consider their line-up given the incessant amount of rain in Southampton, but it wasn't to be, and India captain Virat Kohli explained the reason behind it.
"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 at the toss.
Williamson, meanwhile, said he expects the wicket to remain similar throughout. "We'll bowl first. Conditions, with the weather around, hopefully we can make the most of it. Saying that, wicket will be consistent throughout the game going by the cool weather. Have gone for four frontline seamers. No spinner. Great occasion and great challenge against the best team in the world," the New Zealand skipper said.
"First time a WTC final, guys are really excited. A big player for us and a real leader within our group (Watling). Great occasion for him playing his last game. Great to be in this position. Two years trying to qualify - for us, we're fortunate to be here."
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
New Zealand (Playing XI): Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson(c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling(w), Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult