Opening day's play of the ICC World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand at the Rose Bowl, Southampton was abandoned Friday due to rain. The match was supposed to start at 3:30 PM IST. But relentless downpour meant that not even toss was allowed. After hours of painstaking wait, the play was finally called off at 7:20 PM IST. India have already announced their playing XI, featuring two spinners in Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, on the eve of the match. New Zealand are yet to reveal their team. Though the WTC final has a reserve day in its playing conditions, the forecast for the entire week is rather gloomy. Given the circumstances, both teams are likely to share the USD 1.6 million prize money.
7:10 PM IST: It's Stumps Without Play On Day 1. What A Day!
Play abandoned for today, and the forecast for Day 2 is also not good.
7:03 PM IST: Rain In Gross Islet too. Toss delayed.
6:35 PM IST: After a brief stoppage, rain returned. There will be an official inspection at 7:30 PM IST. But don't expect much. The forecast doesn't look good.
6:03 PM IST: Has has stopped again, and 'Super Sopper' in full swing.
5:02 PM IST: It's raining again! And Lunch taken. Meanwhile, in Bristol, England Women have enforced follow-on. India Women all out for 231. England's first innings lead is 165 runs.
4:50 PM IST: Some good news. Rain has stopped.
3:38 PM IST: Expect more rain. Following is a weather.com screengrab.
3:07 PM IST: Elsewhere, India Women will fight to avoid follow-on against their England counterparts. Follow live updates and scores HERE.
2:44 PM IST: The ICC has kept a reserve day to make up for time lost because of inclement weather. Rain has been forecast in Southampton for the most part of the inaugural title clash in the longest format.
Good to time revisit the playing conditions, like what happens if there is no play.
2:26 PM IST: Toss is delayed and no play before lunch. Ominous signs! Southampton rain is killing the sport.
This WTC final is a big occasion for Kane Williamson's men. The BlackCaps were eighth in the ICC Test rankings as recently as 2013 but have been on the rise ever since and victory over England earlier this month ensured they head into the WTC Final against India as the world’s number one team in the five-day format.
Since the inaugural WTC began in 2019, New Zealand have got better with every passing series and Williamson is excited for his team to bring their best for what he believes will be an ‘incredible’ occasion at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton.
“There's been a lot of growth over a period of time with so many challenges along the way every day but the team has bought into it and tried to move past those with a good attitude,” explained the BlackCaps captain.