After two days and 64.4 overs, India will be reasonably happy as they reached 146/3 with skipper Virat Kohli and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane in fine touch. Pace-oriented New Zealand failed to exploit the overcast conditions on Day 2 of the ICC World Test Championship 2021 final in Southampton, allowing India to lay a solid foundation for the likes of Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja to play freely later. Then, after a couple of stoppages due to bad light, the umpires 'abandoned' the day at 10:45 PM IST. Kohli was an epitome of patience as he remained unbeaten on 44 on a day when there were multiple interruptions. Rahane equally looked determined, for his 29 off 79 as they added 58 runs for the unbroken fourth-wicket stand. Surprisingly, Kohli has hit a solitary boundary after facing 124 balls, while Rahane has four to his credit. In the first session, Rohit Sharma (34 off 68 balls) and Shubman Gill (28 off 64 balls) batted really well blunting the swing with a pronounced front-foot movement to add 62, before Kyle Jamieson (1/14 in 14 overs) and Neil Wagner (1/28 in 10 overs) got both of them in quick succession. Trent Boult (1/32 in 12.4 overs) was the other wicket-taker, who removed Cheteshwar Pujara for eight runs.
10:45 PM IST: Play called off for the day. Or Stumps, whatever!
India 1st Innings: 146 for 3 in 64.4 overs (Virat Kohli 44 batting, Ajinkya Rahane 29 batting, Rohit Sharma 34, Trent Boult 1/32, Kyle Jamieson 1/14, Neil Wagner 1/28).
10:37 PM IST: Umpires were there, doing their so-called 'inspection'. Expect some updates.
9:25 PM IST: This is getting frustrating. Another stoppage due to bad light. Fans even booed. India were 146/3 in 64.4. Virat Kohli (44 off 124) and Ajinkya Rahane (29 off 79) have so far added 58 in 147 balls.
8:57 PM IST: Players are out in the middle.
8:00 PM IST: Bad light stops play. And this time, it's darker and covers also. Precautions! India were 134/3 (58.4); Virat Kohli - 40, Ajinkya Rahane - 22. They have added 46 in 111 balls.
7:43 PM IST: Rain yesterday, bad light today. Early Tea at the Rose Bowl, Southampton. India 120/3 (55.3) with Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane on 35 and 13 runs respectively. They have so far added 32 in 92 balls for the third wicket.
5:42 PM IST: Players are back for the post-lunch session. Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli will look to rebuild India's innings.
5:04 PM IST: Lunch! One intriguing session. India started strongly, but New Zealand dismissed both the openers in quick succession. India were 69/2 in 28 overs.
4:00 PM IST: Drinks! India reached 41/0 (14), with Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill on 21 and 19 runs respectively.
2:41 PM IST: India have retained the same XI that they have named two days ago. And not spinner for New Zealand. Here are the playing XIs:
India: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.
New Zealand: Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (wk), Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult.
2:38 PM IST: Toss! New Zealand have won the toss and have opted to field.