World Test Championship Final: New Zealand crowned ICC World Test Champions, lift inaugural WTC Trophy

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor helped steer the Kiwis to an 8-wicket victory over India in the final hour of a nail-biting reserve day with a boundary from Taylor.

Created On: Jun 24, 2021 14:42 IST
ICC World Test Champions- New Zealand, Source: Twitter
ICC World Test Champions- New Zealand, Source: Twitter

New Zealand was crowned ICC World Test Champions after beating India on the final day of the World Test Championship at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, England on June 23, 2021. 

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor helped steer the Kiwis to an 8-wicket victory over India in the final hour of a nail-biting reserve day with a boundary from Ross Taylor.

India had got all-out for 170 runs in the second innings, leaving New Zealand to chase a small total of 140 runs. A particularly dangerous spell from R Ashwin though tested New Zealand nerves after he dismissed both the opening batsmen early. 

Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, however, helped calm the nerves by biding their time and building a match-winning partnership of 96 runs. Williamson scored 52 runs not out, while Taylor hit 47 not out including the winning boundary runs.

New Zealand has become the first-ever team to win the inaugural World Test Championship. Congratulations poured in for the team from world over for their much-deserving win. The ICC, while recalling the team's journey from 2019 when they had ended up being the runner-ups in the ODI World Cup to the present 2021 World Test Championship, tweeted saying, "Nice guys do finish first."

Indian cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar also tweeted to congratulate the team on winning the World Test Championship. He tweeted saying, " You were the superior team. Team India will be disappointed with their performance. As I had mentioned the first 10 overs will be crucial and Inia lost both Kohli & Pujara in the space of 10 balls & which put a lot of pressure on the team."

VVS Laxman also tweeted, Congratulations @BLACKCAPS on being deserving champions. NZ bowlers were terrific, Williamson & Taylor brought in their experience to finish the job. Indian batsman will rue not playing to potential in 2nd innings, but India can be proud of the way they played the WTC cycle."

India vs NZ WTC Final: Key Highlights

• Skipper Kane Williamson (52*) and Ross Taylor (47*) led the Kiwis to an 8-wicket victory. 

• No combination has scored more international runs together for New Zealand than Williamson and Taylor. 

• Ravichandran Ashwin was the star bowler for India, after dismissing Tom Latham for nine runs and Devon Conway for 19  runs. 

• This was the first six-day Test since 2005 and the first in England since 1975.  The test went on till the reserve day during the bad weather in Southampton. 

• New Zealand had won the toss and opted to field, putting India to bat first. India got all out for 217 runs in the first innings, while New Zealand got all out for 249 runs. 

• Kyle Jamieson was declared the Player of the Match for his match figures of 7/61.  He took 5 wickets in the first innings (5/31) and 2 wickets in the second innings (2/30).

• The best bowling performance for India came from Ravichandran Ashwin, who took 2 wickets each in both first and second innings, followed by Mohammad Shami who took 4 wickets in the first innings. 

Match Summary

New Zealand had always been slightly ahead in the game ever since India's collapse on the third day morning. India though battled and fought very hard with a tremendous performance from the bowlers especially and were just one big partnership away from taking the WTC trophy away from New Zealand. 

The top scorer for India in the second innings was Rishab Pant, who scored 41 runs and could have probably struck a big partnership for India but unfortunately, he was caught by Henry Nicholls off a delivery from Trent Boult when India was at 156. 

Background

The World Test Championship has been a tremendous journey for New Zealand that had lost the 2019 ICC Men's ODI World Cup to England despite the final ending up in a tie following the super over due to boundary count rule. The 2019 World Cup final was one of the greatest ODI finals in the history of cricket with both teams deserving to be the winners. However, England had won the title, their first-ever and New Zealand had finished as runner-ups. 

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