It's all set for the first ever ICC World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand at Southampton from Friday (June 18). The Kiwis are coming off a two-Test series against England while this will be India's first Test after IPL 2021 was truncated due to COVID. (TOP FIVE CLASHES)
There will be many firsts in this WTC 2021 final with the playing conditions allowing for an additional day in case playing time is lost. This match will also be the first for the Indian cricket team at a 'neutral' venue.
Following are some salient statistics and approaching milestones of the upcoming India vs New Zealand Test match at the Rose Bowl in Hampshire:
- The WTC 2021 final would be the first neutral Test for India. New Zealand have played six Tests at a neutral venue and the ensuing Test will be their seventh Test at a neutral venue.
- India and New Zealand have played 59 Tests so far and the ensuing Test will be the 60th Test between the two teams. Of the 59 Tests, India have won 21 Tests, New Zealand 12 and 26 Tests have been drawn.
- Virat Kohli will become the first captain to lead India in a Test at neutral venue, while New Zealand have two captains – Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson – who have led New Zealand in Tests at a neutral venue.
- With Kane Williamson set to lead New Zealand in the WTC final, he would become the most capped captain to lead New Zealand in neutral Tests.
- Kohli would become the 29th captain in the annals of Test cricket to lead a team in a neutral Test.
- Williamson has an aggregate of 386 runs in neutral Tests and requires 14 more runs for his 400 runs. If he gets them, then he would become the fifth captain to aggregate 500 plus runs in neutral Tests. Others are – Misbah-hul-Huq of Pakistan (2167), Alistair Cook of England (450), Graeme Smith of South Africa (425) and Angelo Matthews of Sri Lanka (412).
- Virat Kohli of India has an aggregate of 7490 runs as a batsman in his Test career. Ten (10) more runs would fetch him 7500 runs and he would then become the sixth Indian batsman to total 7500 plus runs in Tests. Others are Sachin Tendulkar (15921), Rahul Dravid (13265), Sunil Gavaskar (10122), VVS Laxman (8781) and Virender Sehwag (8503).
- Kohli has an aggregate of 5392 runs as a captain in his Test career. 108 more runs would fetch him 5500 runs and he would then become the fourth captain to total 5500 plus runs in the annals of Test cricket. Others are – Graeme Smith (8659), Allan Border (6623) and Ricky Ponting (6542).
- Ravichandran Ashwin has an aggregate of 48 wickets against New Zealand prior to the start of the WTC final and two more wickets would fetch him 50 wickets. If he gets them, then he would become the fourth Indian bowler to capture 50 plus wickets against New Zealand. Others are – Bishan Singh Bedi (57), Erapalli Prasanna (55) and Anil Kumble (50).
- Tim Southee and Trent Boult have captured 39 and 36 wickets, respectively, against India. They need one and four wickets for their 40 wickets. If they get them, then they would become the third and fourth New Zealand bowlers to capture 40-plus wickets against India. Others are – Richard Hadlee (65) and Daniel Vettori (40).
- Cheteshwar Pujara and Kolhi have played nine Tests against New Zealand prior to the WTC final. They would become the 16th and 17th Indian cricketers to play 10 or more Tests against New Zealand.
- Kohli and Pujara have scored 773 and 749 runs respectively against New Zealand prior to the start of WTC final. They require 27 and 51 runs, respectively, for their 800 runs. If they get these runs, then they would become the fifth and sixth batsman to aggregate 800 plus runs against New Zealand. Others are – Dravid (1659), Tendulkar (1595), Sehwag (883) and Laxman (818).
- Kane Williamson has an aggregate of 728 runs against India prior to the start of the Southampton Test. He requires 72 more runs for his 800 runs. If he gets them, then he would become the sixth New Zealand batsman to score 800-plus runs against India. Others are – McCullum (1224), Graham Dowling (964), Bert Sutcliffe (885), Ross Taylor (812) and John Wright (804).
- Ross Taylor has an aggregate of 812 runs against India prior to the start of the ICC WTC 2021 final. He requires 88 more runs for his 900 runs. If he gets them, then he would become the third New Zealand batsman to score 900-plus runs against India after McCullum and Dowling.
(HR Gopala Krishna is a senior cricket statistician)