In the WTC Final, New Zealand held nerves against India to be crowned the Test World Champions on the reserve day of a Test that very much looked to conclude in a draw. In the reserve sixth day, Indian team lost the sight of plot and got bundled out to give the Kiwis an easy target. In return, New Zealand achieved the target with 8 wickets in hand.
After India’s defeat, some heartwarming stats came from the sides of Kiwi and certain worrisome stats came from the Indian side. While New Zealand overcame their ‘choker’ tendencies and won its first ICC event since 2000, India suffered its third loss in the knockout stage of an ICC tournament.
Earlier, New Zealand had defeated India in 2000 to win the Champions Trophy, but since then, had been knocked out in semi-final or final. India on the other side have lost in the 2019 World Cup semifinal, and 2017 Champions Trophy final.
With a major chunk of the Test washed out, the match slipped into the reserve day with India 32 runs ahead of Kiwis. While most anticipated that the blazing sun shall help the batting duo of Kohli & Pujara, both the batsmen were sent back to the dressing room within the first 30 minutes of the 1st session.
Kiwi Bowlers decimate Indian Batting
It was Jamieson again who was spitting fire and not giving Indian batsmen any breathing room, let alone room to open their arms. Rishabh Pant & Ajinkya Rahane came to the middle, and for a while, it looked like the boat had steadied, but soon Rahane was sent packing at 15 off 40 by Boult.
Only Pant & Ravindra Jadeja seemed to be able to fight the quartet of Jamieson, Wagner, Boult and Southee. They both added 33 for the 6th wicket before Wagner trapped Jadeja to give an outside edge. With Jadeja out, Kiwi captain Kane Williamson tightened noose around Pant and didn’t let him score runs.
The drought of runs got better of Pant who was playing at 41 off 88 and in frustration, he swung the bat and deposited the ball in the safe hands of Henry Nicholls. Once Pant was dismissed, it was an end for the Indian hopes as tailenders could not put up a fight. From 142/6, India was dismissed for 170 with a minuscule lead of 138.
Kiwi Completes the chase comprehensively
Chasing a target of 139, New Zealand held its nerves and remained unscathed till Tea. After tea however, Ravichandran Ashwin gave some hopes as he got rid of Conway and Latham in quick succession.
The Indian fielders too looked energetic and were trying to stop the runs – to prolong the inevitable. It took Taylor close to 3 overs to score his first run, but Williamson was on his classy best and together the duo stitched a winning partnership.
Interesting Stats Registered after WTC 2021 Final
1) New Zealand win first ICC tournament in 2 decades
Good guys don’t always finish last….New Zealand have finally ended the two-decade ICC trophy drought. Even-stevens in the first innings but totally outplayed India in the second innings. Well done, 🇳🇿 #WTCFinal
— Wear a Mask. Stay Safe, India (@cricketaakash) June 23, 2021
The last time Kiwis won an ICC trophy was way back in 2000. Serendipitously, it was Indian team that was bested by Kiwis in the ICC Knockout Trophy.
2) Kohli 1st Captain to lose 2 ICC Tournament Finals in multiple formats
Indian Captains Losing an ICC Final
Ganguly (2000 CT)
Ganguly (2003 WC)
Dhoni (2014 T20WC)
Kohli (2017 CT)
Kohli (2021 WTC)*#WTCFinal
— CricBeat (@Cric_beat) June 23, 2021
Under Kohli’s captainship, India has lost another ICC Tournament. Earlier, India also lost the ICC Champions Trophy Final in 2017. With the WTC final loss, it’s the second format that India have came so close yet have remained so far from.
3) R Ashwin Highest Wicket-Taker in WTC
Most Wickets in World Test Championship
71 – Ravi Ashwin*
70 – Pat Cummins
69 – Stuart Broad
56 – Nathan Lyon
56 – Tim Southee
48 – Josh Hazlewood#WTCFinal
— CricBeat (@Cric_beat) June 23, 2021
With his 2 wickets in the final inning of the WTC final, Ashwin surpassed Stuart Broad and Pat Cummins to be on the top of highest wicket-taker list.