WTC Final|India gain 32-run lead; lose Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill on Day 5

Wtc Final|India Gain 32-Run Lead; Lose Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill On Day 5
Image Source: AP WTC Final|India gain 32-run lead; lose Rohit Sharma

, Shubman Gill on Day 5 Mohammed Shami’s incisive swing bowling brought India back in the contest however New Zealand nosed ahead by getting rid of both the openers as World Test Championship last headed towards a gripping ‘6th’ and last day.

If Shami brought India back with four-wicket haul that helped the side dismiss New Zealand for 249, Rohit Sharma (30) after all the hardwork, made an error in judgement attempting to leave a Tim Southee (2/17) in-dipper which caught him plumb in-front.

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With Shubman Gill (8) also back in the hut, India finished the 5th day at 64 for 2 with a lead of 32 runs, having erased a 32-run deficit.

With a complete day’s play expected, India wants to bat at least a session and half to put themselves in safe position prior to providing New Zealand 50 odd overs and 200 plus target if they wish to enforce a result.

New Zealand definitely enter into the final day as favourites to lift the WTC mace, courtesy Southee’s late evening spell.

A draw looks more of an useful possibility because of all the time that has actually been lost due to harsh weather but an outstanding batting effort from skipper Virat Kohli (8 batting) and Cheteshwar Pujara (12 batting) or a mysterious batting collapse like Adelaide might definitely make things fascinating throughout business end of the marquee clash.

But the fifth day’s play definitely came from the most talented Indian swing bowler in modern times– Shami. His artistry was on full display screen as he singlehandedly brought India back in the match throughout the very first session at a time when New Zealand had control over the proceedings.

The 32-run lead that they got was largely due to efforts of Kyle Jamieson (21) and Tim Southee (30 ), who threw their bats around to put the pressure back on India, going into the last session of the day.

Shami after a mesmerising early morning spell, got a number of more wickets in the post-lunch session. He dismissed Colin de Grandhomme with a shipment that angled in and Jamieson with a bouncer.

India’s senior-most player Ishant Sharma (25-9-48-3) denied half-century to a dogged skipper Kane Williamson (49) with a classic Test match termination– a shipment raising up and forming out which was edged to Virat Kohli at third slip.

Sensing that simple survival would spell doom, New Zealand scored 114 runs in the post lunch session even as Shami and Ishant stayed standout performer bowling their hearts out. Such was Shami’s dominance in the very first session that Williamson managed only seven runs in a whole session of play.

Ross Taylor (11) was dismissed as Shami enjoyed the rewards for finding the fuller “English” length which attracted the batsman to choose a drive. Shubman Gill, at brief cover, took a dazzling diving catch.

Ishant then had the generally trustworthy Henry Nicholls (7 ), who went for a ‘fishing exploration’ when the lanky speedster pushed his length-fuller by a yard and the edge at 2nd slip was taken by Rohit Sharma.

BJ Watling (1 ), in his last Test, got a ball that would have put the finest in business in difficulty.

Shami, who by then had actually started bossing the batsmen, bowled one that looked like shaping in but held its line after pitching, clipping the off-bail while doing so. From 117 for 2, New Zealand were reeling at 135 for 5 in no time.

Apart from the spotless length that he hit time and once again, the other trademark of Shami’s spell was how he used the crease. When he intended to bowl outswing, he would come closer to the stumps and would move the ball.

Nevertheless, the dissatisfaction for India was Jasprit Bumrah (0/57), who bowled short and wide which former England captain Nasser Hussain termed “pretty balls” that don’t yield results.

The minute Virat Kohli replaced Bumrah with Shami, things changed drastically as the senior pacer sowed doubts in the batters’ minds. He didn’t want to make the batsmen play and Williamson was seen doing a “Cheteshwar Pujara”, leaving shipment after delivery.

In hindsight, Williamson’s defensive technique did put pressure on the other batters as they attempted to up the ante in the final session. His very first 4 of the early morning was available in the 20th over of the day (69th for the day), a clip off Bumrah to the mid-wicket boundary.

What Shami and Ishant did was to hit the six-metre length (excellent length) which sufficed throughout both sessions.

Published at Tue, 22 Jun 2021 18:16:48 +0000